My Heart Check to offer free screenings for students age 8-25 on Nov. 20 at Boonslick YMCA

Boonville Daily News
Devon Parrott was first diagnosed with a life threatening heart condition called Long QT. Long QT is a SADS (sudden arrhythmia death syndrome) condition. To prevent heart defects, My Heart Check will be offering free screenings for students age 8-25 on Nov. 20 at Boonslick YMCA in Boonville.

Did you know that one in 100 youth have some form of heart defect or that a student athlete suffers a cardia arrest every three days?

On Saturday, November 20, My Heart Check will be coming to the Boonslick YMCA to offer a mobile cardiac screening event for students age 8-25. Each heart screening will include a blood pressure check, an EKG and echocardiogram to identify underlying electrical or structural cardiac disorders that often go undetected in routine well child and sports physicals. Cardiac conditions in children are not only detectable with proper testing, but also treatable. Unfortunately, however, for most children with the condition the first warning sign that something is wrong in death, with nearly 4,000 young people dying each year from such conditions.

Each screening is provided at a cost of $129 by Heart Check (a value of about $1,500). However, through generous donations through Devon’s  Beat, Boonville Lions Club, Equipment Share, Isle of Capri Casino, Matt Kueny with Edward Jones, Rick Ball Chevrolet/Buick/GMC/Cadillac and WK Chrysler/Dodge, Jeep/Ram, the screenings will be free of cost for area youth. “We are seeking additional sponsors so that more students can be screened free of charge,” stated Lauren Cowherd.

If you would be interested in helping to sponsor a cardiac screening, please contact Lauren Cowherd at 660-373-8044 or send a tax deductible donation to Devon’s Beat at 16594 Highway C. Lincoln, Missouri, 65338 and note Boonville Screening in the memo. To sign your child up to be screened, please visit myheartcheck.org.

Angela Parrott has learned firsthand the importance of health screening. She said her son, Devon, was 10 years old and collapsed in the hallway at his school in Lincoln, Missouri.

“He woke up on his own, but I took him to the doctor,” Parrott said. “The doctor assumed he was dehydrated but I was not convinced. I decided to take him to Children's Mercy to have his heart checked just to be safe. He was otherwise healthy but we wanted peace of mind. Unfortunately the news we received was not good. He had an unknown life threatening heart condition called Long QT. Long QT is a SADS (sudden arrhythmia death syndrome) condition. He was told he could no longer live an active life, that he was at high risk for cardiac arrest and could no longer be left alone for more than a few minutes. we quickly learned that is condition was not rare and that most of the time conditions like these were detectable with proper testing, but if not caught in time they were deadly. SADS conditions like Long QT claims the lives of nearly 3,000 young people each year, yet no one knows much about it. We got him started on meds quickly and within six months he had an ICD (implantable cardio defibrillator) implanted in his chest for extra protection. He was able to get back to a somewhat normal life, but was still monitored daily.”

Parrott said she quickly went to work spreading the word about these types of deadly conditions and started raising funds to pay for youth heart screenings. She said they have hosted over 14 screenings and screened around 1,000 kids. “We have found some life threatening and non-life threatening conditions and are very thankful for the opportunity to help save lives,” Parrott said. “At the age of 14, he was at the movies and went into cardiac arrest, but he was shocked and saved by his ICD. Without the diagnosis we would have never known about his condition and he would not of had the ICD, we would of lost him. 

“Last year at the age of 17, we almost lost him again, but now he is a punter at Quincy University and doing well. He is a miracle and we are blessed to have him with us. He encourages parents to get kids tested!”