Heart Screening for Athletes a Must!

Last Update: 9/28 5:55 pm
(WXYZ) - At 15-years old-Kimberly Anne Gillary was the picture of health. A competitive swimmer and varsity water polo player at Troy Athens High School. But, on April 1, 2000, right in the middle of a varsity match with another school she suddenly suffered a heart attack and died.

Heart specialist Andrew Hauser was at the match watching his own daughter and was the first physician to reach Kimberly.

“She was unconcious, not responding to stimuli of any kind, she was lifeless and so we began a full resusitative effort to save her.”

What’s so shocking is that Kimberly had been competing in high level sports since the age of four, and she had already gone through and passed the physical exam that all Michigan high school athletes are required to take - it wasn’t enough.

Now for the first time ever, the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine is calling for all young athletes competing in high school sports to be tested for heart abnormalities to prevent sudden cardiac death.

The journal says quote: “Health-care governing bodies need to be convinced that now is the time for universal ekg (heart) screening of all young athletes and make the necessary provisions for nationwide screening programs to commence.”

Kimberly Gillary’s father agrees that the basic sports physicals currently being given are a joke.

“Basically they are going to listen to you with a stethoscope, tap on your chest, ask you to cough and that’s it.”

That’s why three years ago Channel 7 and Beaumont Hospitals launched “The Seven Health Edge Heart Check” The only program of it’s kind in the country that takes high school athletes through a series of in-depth heart tests, tests that would normally cost up to $1000 dollars - absolutely free.

Channel 7 and Beaumont Hospitals will again offer this lifesaving heart program on Saturday November 14, at Oakland University.

To register for this free heart screening program just call 1-800-633-7377.