Every year more than five Texas students die suddenly due to a congenital heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hill Country Memorial sponsored a free screening event in November to test the hearts of young athletes and increase parent awareness of the possible life threatening risk for undiagnosed teen athletes.
Dr Kevin Gallagher and Dr Kunjan Bhatt, Austin Heart cardiovascular disease specialists, screened 36 high school athletes from Fredericksburg, Harper, Comfort and Kerrville. The boys and girls completed their screening with healthy hearts, and the parents and teens went home comforted knowing there was no diagnosis for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Coach Tim Kamen from Fredericksburg High School said, “I want to thank Hill Country Memorial for sponsoring this event for our young people. This a great step to ensure our athletes health, which is the most important issue for our coaching staff. As a parent, it gives you more peace of mind.”
Kamen and parents both extend a special thanks to the hospital, its technical imaging team, nurses, directors, and the Austin Heart physicians for making this first HCM heart screening possible. The volunteer team includes: Amy Montgomery, Dustin Embrey, Louis Rodriguez, Gina Enderlin, Kelly Di Cuffa, Patsy Glasscock, Breanne George, Cyndi Bertrang, Cara Beyer, Phil Cruz and Karen James.
“I appreciate Hill Country Memorial for supporting this great screening program,” said Dr. Kevin Gallagher. “Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a rare but lethal disorder when left undiagnosed. The early heart screening for active teenagers can save a life.”