LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) has introduced legislation in honor of his wife, Carol Leavell Barr.
It’s called the Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy (CAROL) Act. The CAROL Act honors Barr’s wife, Carol Barr, who died last year to sudden cardiac arrest most likely brought on by a ventricular arrhythmia.
Carol had an underlying condition called mitral valve prolapse (MVP) or floppy valve syndrome—a typically benign condition that results in sudden cardiac death in only .2% of cases.
Twenty-five thousand Americans lose their lives to valvular heart disease each year, predominately young women.
The CAROL Act aims to address the gap in understanding about what makes valvular heart disease life-threatening by authorizing a grant program administered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), supporting research on valvular heart disease.
“Carol’s life was about selfless service to others and making a positive difference in our community. Carol was the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend anyone could ever have,” said Congressman Barr. “Through this legislation, we provide the investments, resources and awareness needed to inform others about valvular heart disease and save lives. Turning this tragedy into something positive is exactly what Carol would have wanted us to do, and I will champion this cause for the rest of my life.”
Barr says many Americans who suffer from MVP or other valvular heart diseases do not know they are at serious risk.
He says the research will help identify Americans at high risk of sudden cardiac death from valvular disease and develop prediction models for high-risk patients, enabling interventions and treatment plans to keep these patients healthy throughout their lives.