Mason's Heart Foundation partners with New Caney ISD to offer hundreds of free heart screenings
NEW CANEY, Texas – Hundreds visited Texan Drive Stadium in New Caney on Saturday to have their loved ones undergo a free heart screening.
The event was hosted by a local nonprofit started by parents who lost their child to a preventable heart issue.
Amy Travioli lost her beloved son, Mason Travioli, 19.
"He was a very healthy man ... always athletic, played everything, was great in the community, loved his friends, loved people," Amy Travioli said.
However, she says her son lives on in the lives he's potentially saving.
"Our mission is totally about saving one child's life at a time. That's our total mission," Travioli said.
Travioli and her husband started Mason's Heart Foundation to help prevent parents from going through the same heartache. It is Mason Travioli's story that has made a difference in many lives.
Travioli lost her son June 6, 2016.
"He worked the night before. He came home about midnight, you know, we talked for a little bit, and then he went to sleep, and he never woke back up," Travioli said.
It was a shock that had the family waiting for two and a half months until they found out why Mason Travioli died.
Doctors told the family that Mason Travioli had myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, stemming from a viral infection.
"The weightlifting kind of masked the chest pain, so we didn't know it was something more," Amy Travioli said. "If they checked, they would have known there was the enlargement of the heart and the fluid and infection in the lungs."
It was a preventable heart issue which Travioli and her husband are now determined to help other parents spot.
Mason's Heart Foundation partners with other schools and organizations to set up free heart screenings for children and teens. The foundation partnered with New Caney Independent School District where 320 families signed up.
"We're doing EKGs on them, so what we're doing is checking the rhythm of their heart to make sure there aren't any abnormalities with their hearts," Denise Aaron, a New Caney ISD nurse, said.
It is a painless 10-minute check.
"Pretty much just sit back, relax and let the wires do their job," said one teen.
"There's a history of heart issues in my family. I have arrhythmia and atrial flutter. I had a small stroke a couple years back, so we just wanted to make sure to get my son checked out. Better safe than sorry," Ty Harrison, a Cypress parent, said.
In a previous event involving more than 100 children, four were detected to have heart abnormalities, Travioli said.
"At any age, heart problems can start, and the early detection is key," Aaron said.
"Take the opportunity, take the time. This is what really helps save another child's life," Amy Travioli said.
For more information on the screenings or how you can help Mason's Heart Foundation, you can click here.
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