AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An area group working to decrease the number of cardiac issues in young athletes hopes to expand across West Texas, but they need help.
After Xavier Ramirez went into cardiac arrest on a football field in Slaton, four Lubbock nurses decided something needed to be done to help prevent situations like it from happening again.
They created the coalition "Operation Screen Your Athlete."
"What we do is offer free cardiac screenings to kids ages 12-18, not just athletes, any kid. And we start with a health history, family history, we do vital signs and EKG and then they meet one on one with a provider," said RN, President and Co-Founder Ginger Yaeger.
The group wants to expand into all of West Texas, including Amarillo. But they need some help.
"We're hoping to expand as much into west Texas as we can. We want to go Amarillo, wherever we're needed and wanted. But we are strictly volunteer basis, so what we need the most is those volunteers, especially cardiologist, physicians, electrocardiogram technicians, any medical professionals. If they want to volunteer and recruit us to their area, we will gladly come," said Yaeger.
These screenings are so important because 9,500 kids annually are impacted by sudden cardiac arrest. And if they do go into arrest, 95 percent do not survive.
Yaeger says in 18 months, three area children went into cardiac arrest, and one died.
"It's middle school, high school, college, even some professional sports players are collapsing and dying from heart conditions that easily could have been prevented with a simple screening."
The group is having a screening event in Muleshoe tomorrow April 22, from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Muleshoe Area Medical Clinic at 708 South 1st Street. You are required to sign up before you arrive. To do that, or to find out how you can help, click here.
Once again, the services are free.