William Walls: Remembering One UVM Student

It is with great sadness that we inform the University community that William John Walls V, a second year student, passed away last week on Thursday, January 29 as a result of heart failure. He had been courageously battling heart problems related to Marfan’s Syndrome for quite some time.

Marfan’s Syndrome is a rare hereditary connective-tissue disorder of the connective tissue (which adds strength to the bodies structures) that affects the skeletal system, cardiovascular system, eyes, and skin. Marfan’s Syndrome is inherited as an autosomal a chromosome, but can indicate a mutation) dominant trait.

Heart problems may occur because the Marfan’s syndrome may cause leakage of the heart valves. These valves control the flow of blood through the heart, and defects of these valves may cause shortness of breath, an irregular pulse, undue tiredness, and can lead to serious heart failure

However, up to 30% of cases have no family history and are so called “sporadic” cases. In sporadic cases, Marfan syndrome is believed to result from a spontaneous new mutation, the cause of which is currently unknown.

The incidence is approximately 2 out of 10,000 (.0002) people in all ethnic groups. There is no preventitive treatment.

William was an English major in the college of Arts & Sciences. He was a resident of Harris Hall. He came to UVM from his home in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Our deepest condolence is extended to his family. William will be missed by his many friends and faculty from within the University.