Texas City High School athletes receive free heart scans


by Alice Barr / KHOU 11 News


Posted on May 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 20 at 5:55 PM

HOUSTON—If your child is involved in any school activities, they most likely have to go through an annual physical, but right now, those mandated physicals skip one step that advocates say could save young lives.

Football players at Texas City High School are used to asking a lot of their bodies. But a special session in school Tuesday was about checking what’s happening on the inside.

The students got EKG screenings, to check for any problems with their hearts.

It’s not what most players usually worry about.

“You don’t really think about the consequences until they actually happen,” said Texas City High School football player Marshall Surovik.

Melody Stephens knows those consequences all too well. Two years ago, she lost her son, a talented Crosby High School football player, 18-year-old Cody Stephens.

“He died from sudden cardiac arrest,” said Stephens. “We had no clue that he had any kind of heart issues. He’d had regular physicals all through school, no family history and he died. The first symptom was death.”

So she has made it her new mission to make EKGs a required part of school physicals. She’s even learned the ropes herself.

“It’s not going to hurt,” she told a football coach as she administered the test to him.

Stephens helped organize Tuesday’s event, joining volunteers from Mainland Medical Center. The hospital offered the EKGs for free.

“Detect and record any heart abnormalities, or any arrhythmias that could be lethal,” said Jeffery Brown, Director of Cardio-Pulmonary Services at Mainland Medical Center.

To Texas City’s athletic director and head football coach Leland Surovik, it’s a no-brainer. He wants to see EKGs mandated with every school physical.

“Anyway I can eliminate those possibilities and better take care of my athletes, I want to do it,” said Leland Surovik.

He wants to do anything to keep the kids safe while their hearts stay in the game.

“I’m glad I actually did this,” said football player Nefi Hernandez.

For information on signs and symptoms, or to help, go to www.codystephensfoundation.org.