Sophomore Michael Anderson, 20, dies while studying abroad

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Michael Anderson, a 20-year-old University of Miami sophomore majoring in finance, died Wednesday in Sydney, Australia, according to an official university statement made this afternoon.

Anderson, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., was studying abroad for the semester at the University of Technology in Sydney. Patricia A. Whitely told The Miami Hurricane this morning that Anderson died of cardiac arrest.

“The University of Miami community mourns the tragic loss of one our students, Michael Anderson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s family and friends, and we will do everything possible to help them during this difficult time,” said the statement, sent via e-mail by Karla V. Hernandez, director of Media Relations.

Anderson was studying in UM’s School of Business.

Linda Neider, the vice dean of Undergraduate Business, said that Anderson shared with his University of Miami Experience course instructor that he “particularly enjoyed the fact that he had met friends from around the world during his first year, and loved the international flavor of many Florida locales such as South Beach.”

“Although he was a finance major, Michael noted that his parents, two successful entrepreneurs, had a major impact on his life and he thought he might someday follow in their footsteps,” Neider said in an e-mail to The Miami Hurricane. “Needless to say, he will be sorely missed by all those who had the good fortune to know him.”

Six other UM students are currently studying at UT Sydney, according to the university statement.

Anderson is the second University of Miami student to pass away while studying abroad this year. Scott Jared Monat, a second-year neurobiology major, died in early March while studying abroad at the National University of Singapore. The cause of death has yet to be released by the police in Singapore.

The statement added that Anderson was a gifted tennis player and student leader in high school.

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2 Comments

  1. Dear Ms. Helgeson,

    Thank you very much for your letter and we are very sorry for your loss.

    You made some important points in your letter. Some of these points would probably be beneficial for our readers. Because Michael Anderson passed away in a foreign country and details about the cause of death were limited, we could only report on the facts we had. We tried to devote most of the article to information about Michael Anderson and a tribute to his life.

    An information box was added to provide further details about cardiac arrest, based on facts from reputable websites. Due to space, not all of the factors leading to cardiac arrest were listed, but we did state that there are others.

    The points that you mentioned may be included in a more in-depth article about cardiac arrest in young people, which could be very beneficial to the university community.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

    Respectfully,

    Chelsea Kate Isaacs
    News Editor
    The Miami Hurricane

  2. Rita Helgeson on

    To Kate Isaacs,
    We feel so sorry that yet another young man that had his entire life a head of him has become another victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). We send our heartfelt sympathy to his family. It is a tragic event that such a young man died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Thousands of young children/youth die in the US from Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year. Almost 400,000 people in US die of Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year in the US. Our wonderful 18 year old son Andrew died who was the epitome of health friom SCA which is an electrical problem of the heart that can be caused by many different heart problems. Our son died of an electrical problem and we still do not know what caused his fatal cardiac arrythmia. It is very hurtful for you to say the increase of young deaths from SCA to is smoking and illicit drugs. Our son never did anything wrong and the hint that the increase of deaths from SCA is due to obesity and drugs without mentioning all the other causes puts a bad spin on these poor victims of SCA. Parents like us are hurt by insinuations like this. Instead please report that there are many genetic problems like Long qt, Short qt, Brugada, HCM hypercardiomyopathy, congenital heart diseases, , Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, murmur, Kawasaki disease, myocarditis and inflamation of the heart that can even be caused by a cold, ARVD, commotio cordis which is a blunt blow to the heart and many other problems that are not the poor victims vault. These are just a few of the causes. When first responders come to the aid of a young victim of SCA they should never be predisposed to think that it is drugs. Your article also failed to report the importance of AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) which need to be used immediately in order to save a victim of SCA otherwise they usually die. We did not have an AED the day Andrew died and if we had he would be alive today.
    I would love to see an article that reports these increases of deaths should be a wake up call for parents demanding for their children to be cardiac screened, more money for research and the placement of AEDs in all public places and mandatory AED and CPR for everyone. If they can screen the children, teens and athletes in Italy they can do it here.
    Feel free to contact me if I can help you with anything.

    Rita Helgeson
    Andrew’s mother
    Rita & Richard Helgeson
    “Andrew’s Parents”
    R. Andrew Helgeson Memorial Foundation
    A 501(c)(3) Public Charity
    CFC #23699
    301-236-0448 voice
    301-388-0963 fax
    301-704-6579 cell
    rahfoundation@comcast.net
    http://www.andrewhelgeson.org