After a routine sports physical at Dawson Highschool in Pearland, TX,
Chase was ready for the next football season. Before leaving the
school that day, Chase's mom signed him up to get an EKG that was
being offered by the community hospital in the area. A few months
later, his EKG reading came back abnormal with a note to follow up
with his pediatrician as soon as possible. Being that Chase was now
13 years old and have been playing sports since he was 3 years old,
his family thought this was some kind of mistake. Surely there was
nothing going on with his heart and if so, why hasn't it come out in his
annual routine check ups in the past?
Two months and many more tests after receiving his EKG results,
Chase was diagnosed with a right anomalous coronary artery which
is also referred to as an Anomalous Aortic Origin of a Coronary Artery
(AAOCA). This is a congenital defect of the coronary artery, which
means it was present at birth.
AAOCA affects approximately 0.3% of the population, and appears
about three times more often in boys than girls. It can be associated
with decreased blood flow to the heart. If AAOCA is left untreated, it
can lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and Sudden Cardiac Death
(SCD) following exercise and/or exertion.
This news was not only a hard pill for Chase's parents to swallow, but
it was extremely difficult for Chase as he was the starting Quarterback
on the team and it was unknown as to if he would ever play sports
again. Chase was placed on physical restriction until December 1,
2014 which is the day he underwent open heart surgery. Thankfully
the surgery went well and Chase was able to resume playing football
and basketball for the next three years of his high school career.
A routine EKG saved his life. Chase's goal is to share his story hoping one day it could prevent someone else from suffering from Sudden Cardiac Death.