Free heart screenings for young athletes could shed light on underlying issues

HOUSTON – Young athletes pushing themselves to the limit.

“These children are out there playing their hearts out.  They love their games, love their sports, but unfortunately some may have a heart defect they don’t know about,” said Thomas Martino, whose daughter plays high school softball.

Now, to keep the horror of sudden cardiac death from ever happening to your children, KPRC-TV Channel 2 News is teaming up with The Cameron Juniel Project, The Cody Stephens Foundation and several other generous partners to offer your kids totally free, in-depth, heart screenings aimed at finding hidden heart defects you would never know they have.

“We want to find the kids who are at risk for sudden cardiac death, so it can be prevented,” said Dr. Thomas DeBauche, a cardiologist who is volunteering his time to this project.

At our most recent heart screening, held on Aug. 4 at The Pearland Recreation Center,  technicians from Memorial Hermann Hospital conducted heart screenings on several hundred young athletes.
Tests that include the electrocardiogram test and the echocardiogram, which actually shows a live picture of the beating heart.

“I think it’s super important for all athletes to be screened,” said Melanie Martino, who brought her daughter Jacie.

Young people like C.J. Phipps understand the gravity of the danger with hidden heart defects that offer no warning signs.

“I just want to make sure I’m safe and let me be the best athlete I can be,” C. J. said.

During this screening event, doctors discovered a total of seven athletes who have heart issues of different degrees that will require further follow-up with a heart specialist.

Our next screening is set for this Saturday at the Crosby Community Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

We have to warn you, the sign-up website for this event is completely sold-out, but organizers said if you want to walk-up with no preregistration for your child, you will be able to participate.

A link to that event is listed below this story.


About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.