What is Sudden Death Disease?

Berritt Haynes on The Voice. Pic credit: @berritt.haynes/Instagram

There are a lot of great stories this season on The Voice, but one that has some people concerned is about Berritt Haynes.

The young man became part of Team Blake after the blind audition rounds, but he had a scary childhood that has some fans scared and others running to the Internet for answers.

Berritt Haynes said he has “Sudden Death Disease,” which is technically called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Here is what you need to know.

What is Sudden Death Disease?

According to the Mayo Clinic, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is “a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood.”

After Berritt Haynes performed for the judges, he explained his story.

Berritt said that he received the diagnosis when he was 8 and when he turned 14, he had to have surgery.

The doctors placed an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in his chest to stop abnormal heartbeats.

“I’m truly grateful to be alive,” Haynes said.

Most people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often never know and live long lives without any problems. The disease is often genetic, passed down through families.

If a parent has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, there is a 50 percent chance they pass it on to their children.

However, in a small number of people, the thickened heart muscle can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, or problems in the heart’s electrical system, resulting in life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms or sudden death.

This is where it received its name – Sudden Death Disease.

Berritt Haynes on The Voice

Berritt Haynes performed the Brett Young song Mercy for his blind audition. Berritt came out in Episode 4 and only Blake Shelton turned for him.

Haynes was a Make-A-Wish singer for The Voice and his wish was to appear on the show. The wish was to be in the stands, but the show couldn’t accommodate him because of COVID-19 protocols.

As a result, his mom sent a video of him as an audition and he was accepted to try out. He was good enough to not only appear but gain a place on Blake’s team.

When he told the judges he was there for Make-A-Wish, Blake said, “I’m damn proud to be your coach.”

“Not only do I get to meet them; I get to sing for them as well and that’s a dream come true,” he told Carson Daly after Blake chose him. “I’m truly grateful to be alive and well and be here.”

The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.


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