Sudden Cardiac Arrest took my life while I was taking a nap on the afternoon of July 5, 2018. I was one week shy of my 18th birthday. I was looking forward to my senior year at John Glenn High School where I was an honor student, a standout on the basketball team, and in the Startup Moxie Entrepreneur's program. I studied hard, trained hard, played hard and napped just as hard. I was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, and a friend to everyone. I didn’t just talk to people, I invested in people and in the relationships I forged. Had I survived SCA, I’d be running the ZMF and providing heart screenings. Because God had other plans, my parents along with some of the people I loved most in life do a kick ass job saving other teens. I’m super proud.
About me: ”I try to challenge myself in many aspects. I am independent and I strive hard to achieve my goals in life.” - Zac Mago
My sibs: Jillian is the big sis no brother wants until she became cool like me. It took me awhile to get her there but I had goals! The things we did and the places we shopped. She did teach me the art of bargain shopping, moms money spends best and how to keep quiet about things mom and dad didn’t need to know. At first, Matthew was just my annoying little brother, then the day came that he was my little bro. He was the best little bro. I learned a thing or two from him that no text book would have taught either of us. I’m the glue that binds the three of us together. Without my physical presence, their relationship is a work in process.
My mom and dad are the greatest. I learned from each of them. Being humble, kind and treating others as you wish to be treated was how they raised me and my sibs.
Not to brag, but I was the child with the most potential. This all came about on a vacation and flying Southwest Airlines. The flight attended said "attach your oxygen mask first and then your child with the most potential and work your way down!" I quickly said, "whelp, that's me!" My siblings were happy to let me put the pressure on myself to be the best.
My dad was my practice partner on the court and off the court we had a close relationship. He had a saying that became coined over and over..."I didn't drive all the way and pay all this money to watch you suck!" He loved to watch me play and spent hours of time helping me get to each new level of play. My entire family loved watching me play. They endeared what would have been my senior year with grace and dignity.
My mom owns the company that I was going to take over after college. I spent my summers and school breaks working to learn every aspect of the business. She had complete faith in me and I knew it. I also had an extremely close relationship with mom.
Founded to honor me, my foundation, The Zac Mago Foundation, is a non-profit organization working toward bringing awareness, education and prevention to conditions that cause Sudden Cardiac Arrest in teens like me.
I had a heart screening in 2014, 4 years before I died. Had my parents known to screen me again, I'd probably had one every 6 months because, well, my mom is just that way.
Prevention is possible...through heart screenings.
A stethoscope found what they thought was a heart murmur, one time. I had countless physicals, well checks and care for ankle injuries after my heart screening and it never found any other reason to be concerned. If it was sufficient, my story might be different.
Before and After