NEEDVILLE, Texas—Needville High School senior and quarterback Brent Buzek is back on the field and ready to play after almost being sidelined this summer.
“I showed up at the ER June 4 with the heart rate of 220 and that night I was shocked to bring it back into normal rhythm,” Buzek explained.
This summer doctors discovered Brent had an extra heart valve that caused his heart to race up to 250 beats per minute.
“You see it on TV when people are shocked, but you never dreamed it would be your own healthy 17-year-old son,” his mother, Geradette Buzek, said.
The average person’s heart beats 60 to 100 beats a minute. Whether on or off the field, Brent’s heart would surge at any moment.
“We were worried he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an adrenaline rush or going into a-fib,” his mom said. “We never knew what the trigger was. It would happen when he was lifting weights, mowing grass on a riding lawnmower, sitting on the couch, just talking.”
Buzek was diagnosed with AVNRT, atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, which is also known as a fast heart beat. It is a common and not-so-complicated condition, except in the young athlete’s case.
An initial look at Buzek's heart determined his extra heart valve, which caused his heart to race, was so close to a crucial one that it was extremely risky to get rid of it.
“He had a very unique situation where he had an extra pathway that was very close to his normal God-given wires,” said Dr. Jasvinder Sidhu. “Either he was going to live with fast rhythms -- which was not a livable situation -- or he was going to have a pacemaker or he was going to have this result.”
The final result was nothing short of a miracle – a successful surgery and elimination of the problematic valve without any damage to the other.
It was so close, the surgeon says it’s nothing short of a miracle.
“By God’s will and grace and Dr. Sidhu’s hand, it worked,” said Geradette Buzek.
And in true spirit, the former patient is now ready to play.
“I knew if somebody could get through it it was going to be Brent,” his coach, Jamie Valentine, said.