SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Alvin ISD football player who died after playing in a game in San Antonio Friday had a rare heart defect, according to an autopsy.
Chase Lightfoot, a junior at Shadow Creek High School, got sick during the second half of the game against St. Mary’s Hall. He was treated by team trainers and doctors on the sideline before being rushed to an area hospital. Doctors there were unable to save him.
Classmates at Shadow Creek said Monday Chase was a good guy who liked to make everyone laugh.
"There will never be another him.everybody loved him. Everybody was his friend," said Destiny Jones, Chase's girlfriend. "We just got to this school. Everybody loved him -- he was Chase."
Chase's parents say he loved to work at the family's church and sing in the choir, but his real passion was playing football for the Shadow Creek Sharks.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner said Chase suffered from an aberrant coronary artery or AAOCA. It’s a defect that occurs when a coronary artery arises from the wrong location in the aorta.
Dr. John Breinholt, chief of pediatric cardiology with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and UTHealth, said even an EKG might not have caught Chase's defect. He advised all parents to pay attention to sudden symptoms young athletes have while exercising, and to be aware of family history.
"Is it possible that another family member died from some cause that was not well-known or was it actually documented that they died from an abnormal coronary artery? These things can run in families," Dr. Breinholt said.
AAOCA is the second leading cause of sudden cardiac death in children and adolescents in the United States.
(© 2016 KHOU)