Mikaela Lauren Tick was a 24-year-old graduate student at NYU Steinhardt, pursuing a degree in occupational therapy. She had a rare heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which causes the heart muscle to become abnormally thick and interfere with blood flow. She underwent a routine open-heart surgery on July 27, 2013, to address her condition, but something went wrong during the operation and she passed away unexpectedly. Her death was a shock to her family, friends, and the special needs community she was passionate about helping.
Who Was Mikaela Tick?
Mikaela Tick was described by her loved ones as intelligent, beautiful, gentle, kind, sassy, and loving. She had a natural talent for connecting with people, especially those with special needs. She wanted to become an occupational therapist and dedicate her life to helping them feel confident, accepted, and inspired. She also had a keen sense of fashion and style, and wanted to make them feel comfortable in their own skin.
Mikaela Tick was born on October 18, 1988, in New York City. She grew up in Long Island, where she attended Syosset High School. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2011, with a bachelor’s degree in human services. She then enrolled in NYU Steinhardt, where she was pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She was expected to graduate in 2014.
Mikaela Tick had a rare heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which she inherited from her father. HCM is a genetic disorder that causes the heart muscle to become abnormally thick, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. HCM can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, and sudden cardiac death. Mikaela Tick was aware of her condition and managed it with medication and regular check-ups. She did not let it stop her from living her life to the fullest.
What Happened to Mikaela Tick?
On July 27, 2013, Mikaela Tick underwent a routine open-heart surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, to address her HCM. The surgery involved removing some of the excess heart muscle and implanting a defibrillator to prevent cardiac arrest. The surgery was supposed to be low-risk and improve her quality of life. However, something went wrong during the operation and Mikaela Tick suffered a fatal complication. She died on the operating table, leaving her family and friends devastated.
The exact cause of Mikaela Tick’s death is not clear, but it is possible that she had a reaction to the anesthesia, a blood clot, or a cardiac arrhythmia. Her family filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the doctors involved in the surgery, alleging negligence and malpractice. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2016, for an undisclosed amount.
How Did Mikaela Tick’s Death Affect Others?
Mikaela Tick’s death was a tragic loss for her family, friends, and the special needs community she was dedicated to helping. Her parents, Michael and Lauren Tick, and her brother, Matthew Tick, were heartbroken by her sudden passing. They created the Mikaela Lauren Tick Foundation (MLTF), a non-profit organization that supports special needs individuals and families, and raises awareness and funds for HCM research. The MLTF also awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in occupational therapy, in honor of Mikaela Tick’s dream.
Mikaela Tick’s death also touched the lives of many people who knew her or were inspired by her story. Her classmates, professors, and colleagues at NYU Steinhardt mourned her loss and celebrated her legacy. Her clients, who she worked with as an occupational therapy intern, missed her warmth and guidance. Her friends, who she shared her joys and sorrows with, remembered her as a loyal and fun-loving person. Her online followers, who she reached out to through her blog and social media, admired her courage and positivity.
Mikaela Tick’s death was a reminder of the fragility and preciousness of life, and the importance of following one’s passion and purpose. She left behind a lasting impact on the world, and a message of hope and love for everyone.