Cody Foundation, KPRC help screen hundreds of kids for heart defects

Nearly 300 student athletes were given free heart screening test for heart defects by Cody Stephens ‘Go big, or Go home’ foundation and KPRC. The following story is from a TV report.

SPRING, Texas – Close to 300 student-athletes, some of the strongest, healthiest-looking, teenagers you could find anywhere, came with their parents this past Sunday to the Harris County ESD 11 Headquarters in Spring to potentially save their own lives.

Students were invited to an absolutely free event that offers every teen an in-depth electrocardiogram heart test that can identify hidden heart problems that just can’t be found with a standard, high school sports exam.

A test that goes light years beyond any standard high school sports exam to spot hidden heart problems that every year kill unsuspecting, young athletes across the country.

At the event, every young athlete has his or her heart tested via electrocardiogram and was asked a series of questions about their heart history.

They were even taught how to do CPR.

The goal here is to uncover hidden heart defects you would never know your children may have.

”There’s just no way of knowing what’s going on in the heart unless you put it on the computer, which is basically what this ECG machine is,” said Scott Stephens with the Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation.

This heart screen was made possible through the hard work of that foundation, teen heart attack survivor Julieta Valdez, Harris County ESD 11, and KPRC 2.

“KPRC and Bill Spencer have been a wonderful Godsend to us. Bill’s very passionate about what we’re doing, he understands the process, and he knows we’re saving lives. We are so lucky to have KPRC on our team,” Scott said.

Most of all, parents are grateful, to be able to get these expensive tests for their children absolutely free.

Romano brought his son Nick, a serious baseball player. “This is a great opportunity to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. He [my son]’s an athlete. So we want to make sure we’re taking every precaution to avoid something that really is preventable,” Romano said.

Alexis Garza, a teen athlete from Tomball, saw KPRC’s story promoting this heart screen and couldn’t wait to come and get tested.

”I was like immediately, ‘Mom, I really want to go do this, just to make sure everything is top tier with my heart and my health,’” Alexis said.

“I’m so thankful they gave us this opportunity. I probably wouldn’t have done anything like this had this not been available to us,” Romano said.

Altogether, 278 student athletes were tested.

Of those, medical professionals reported that they found 11 teens with heart abnormalities that will require follow-up with a cardiologist.

Five of those had significant heart problems, and three of them were found to have serious heart problems. Additionally, two of them had heart problems that appeared to be critical.

All of those kids were immediately referred to get the help they need.