What You Just Don’t Know: Essence Everidge

Destinee Turner , Staff Writer

As she reigned in her emotions, junior Essence Everidge focused on keeping her breathing calm. She knew that letting any emotion get the better of her could prove fatal.

“I have Long QT Syndrome where I can’t get too excited, mad or depressed or it can be really easy for me to have a heart attack,” she said.

Long QT Syndrome is a heart rhythm disorder that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid beats can trigger a fainting spell, seizure and even death. Throughout the years, Everidge has learned to deal with her condition.

“I have to control my temper and control my feelings,” she said. “When I get really mad, I have to take a deep breath and relax.”

Everidge has grown accustomed to her disorder and is only reminded of it when her emotions become too passionate.

“I notice it when I’m really sad,” she said. “I can feel it in my heart, it’s hard for me to breathe.”

She said that if she is planning on anything adventurous or nerve wracking, she takes medication that is required to maintain a steady heartbeat.

Everidge said, “I can do regular stuff, I just have to make sure I take my medicine.”

Even though she has had the condition since birth, she only found out about it a few years ago.

“It’s a genetic issue and my whole family has it on my mom’s side,” she said. “However, I won’t let it hold me back. I still find ways to do what I want to do to live a positive life.”