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Coroner: Mom who died jogging in Potsdam had undetected heart ailment

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POTSDAM — A former Potsdam woman died Wednesday while jogging in Hannawa Falls as a result of an undiagnosed heart disease.

Kathryn A. Sloan McCourt, 42, Massachusetts, was found on the side of the road Wednesday evening by a passerby after she collapsed while jogging along Postwood Road, according to state police who responded to the call.

Mrs. McCourt was visiting her parents, William N. and Armande C. Sloan, with her family at the time of her death.

St. Lawrence County coroner June H. Wood, Potsdam, who assisted in the autopsy of Mrs. McCourt, said she died of natural causes, though the athletic mother of three had a heart disease that Ms. Wood said was undetected.

“That probably caused an arrhythmia,” Ms. Wood said, referring to a problem with the rate or rhythm of Mrs. McCourt’s heartbeat. “It’s very, very sad. She had three small children.”

Mrs. McCourt was taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:07 p.m. Tuesday.

Mrs. McCourt graduated in 1989 from Potsdam High School, where she was heavily involved in sports, including being goalie for the state champion midget girls’ hockey team, and was named Top Stoners Athlete of the Year in 1989.

Continuing her athletic achievements while attending Providence College in Rhode Island, Mrs. McCourt excelled as an All-League goaltender and helped lead Providence to a national championship in NCAA women’s hockey in 1993, the year she graduated.

She worked as a manager of talent acquisition and deployment at EMD Serono in Rockland, Mass.

Mrs. McCourt is survived by her husband, Sean P. McCourt, and her three children, Jack William McCourt, 5, Claire Sloan McCourt, 2, and Will Joseph McCourt, 3 months, along with her parents, five siblings and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was be held Saturday morning at St. Mary’s Church, with the Rev. Garry B. Giroux officiating. Local arrangements were with Garner Funeral Service, Potsdam. Online condolences can be sent @ www.garnerfh.com.

Burial will be in Milton, Mass.

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