Bastrop ISD students get free heart screenings

Hundreds of Bastrop Independent School District families showed up to school -- on a Saturday -- to take a test.

BASTROP COUNTY - More than 100 Bastrop Independent School District families showed up to Cedar Creek High School - on a Saturday, in the summer - to take a test.

It's a test most will pass, but for the rare few who don't, early detection could save a life.

"Not too long ago, one of my mom's co-workers, her son died from a heart attack," explained CCHS Sophomore Freddy Rodriguez. "He was 19. So I just want to make sure I'm okay. I don't want anything bad to happen like that."

Rodriguez and his cousin, Marisa Perez, are active in sports, which is very physically demanding.

"I play baseball, I run track, and cross country," said Rodriguez.

Perez plays volleyball.

"We practice every day (the days we don't have games -- which are Tuesdays and Fridays)," added Perez. "We practice Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays."

Often times teens don't realize the added stress their hearts could be under.

"They are trying to screen this as much as they can to catch any kind of heart-related issue so that way we can protect the kids," said Jeremy Tjarks, head athletic trainer for CCHS.

With the help of the Championship Hearts Foundation and 80 other volunteers, two doctors screened young athletes for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It's the leading cause of cardiac death in teenagers.

"They may not show the symptoms," explained Tjarks. "They may be completely symptom-free. And when they end up developing the situation -- one split second, the next thing you know -- they are having a heart-related issue."
 
This chance at early detection could save their life. It's an opportunity most wouldn't get otherwise.

"Before insurance, it'll be $700-$800," explained Stacie Salazar, assistant athletic trainer for CCHS. "That's a lot of money to just openly give out for just one kid. I'm sure every parent would love to do it. That's why this is so awesome -- being able to offer it for free."

Bastrop ISD reported at least one case flagged for follow-up with a heart doctor, thanks to Saturday's screenings.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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