Graham Fontaine Solana, or “Gray” as he was known, was born February 11, 2000 in Savannah, Georgia with a heart condition known as Long QT Syndrome. Once thought to be quite rare, it is now known that as many as 1 in 3000 people have it. LQTS is more prevalent than childhood leukemia, and is every bit as deadly. This is mainly due to the fact that most people with it are unaware they have it. The only symptoms are fainting spells, and its’ main victims are kids up to age 25. LQTS is known to strike young athletes suddenly, so if you or anyone in your family has sudden onset fainting spells on or off the field, see a cardiologist right way. The only other symptom is sudden death. We were blessed to be aware of Grays’ condition, but he succumbed to it even though he was on medication and not doing anything strenuous at the time of his collapse. He was 4 days shy of his 15th birthday when it happened. He was just a great kid, and was 100% into whatever interested him. God, friends, family, his school (Saint Andrews’), UGA Football, and playing basketball were what he was all about.
Early in February of 2015, a few days before his 15th birthday, he was enjoying a Saturday with his family. Lunch with grandma, and then a trip to the Gun Club for some skeet shooting with his dad and 2 older brothers rounded out the day. That night was to be a birthday celebration, but as Gray washed his hands to come to supper, the unthinkable happened. His LQTS, which had never caused any symptoms, caused him to go into ventricular fibrillation. His heart was quivering instead of beating due to erratic electrical impulses. The brain must have oxygen-rich blood flowing to it for it to function, but Grays’ was cut off. Consequently, he passed out on the bathroom floor.
After calling him to the table several times, Grays’ father and brother went to investigate and found him there with no pulse. His mother administered CPR while the rest of the family called 911 and waited frantic ally. The ambulance arrived after about 8 minutes, and his heart was restarted. He was taken to Memorials’ Pediatric ICU, but massive damage had been done to his brain due to oxygen starvation. After 37 long hours in the hospital, and the countless tears and prayers of friends and family, Gray was pronounced legally dead as his brain function would not support his organs any longer. His exit from this world was sudden and stunning. He was a believer though, and God had His plan for his short but wonderful life. Gray is a lot better off than any of us are right now.
Many of us “play around” with our lives, thinking we will get right with God when it is convenient. We do so at our own peril. No person knows when they will breathe their last, and Gray certainly wasn’t looking to pass out and wake up in Heaven four days before turning 15. He was a solid citizen, wonderful son, and a good athlete… but most importantly, he was a professing Christian. He loved Jesus because he knew what Christ had done for him. What a blessing it is to KNOW that even though Gray passed from this world at a young age, his eternal destination was secured. Through this painful experience, his family can take great comfort in the fact that they know he is definitely with his heavenly father right now. This comfort is priceless! If you haven’t already done so, give your family and yourself that same assurance.
Please support the FCA Gray Solana Camp Scholarship Fund to help bring Gods’ word to young athletes. Young or old, we all need the blessed assurance that only Jesus Christ offers.
For more info on Long QT Syndrome, go to www.SADS.org. Thank you in advance for supporting FCA.