College Student-Athlete Saved by Mandatory EKG

Andy Berg Headshot

A college athlete in Florida was probably spared her life because her school has in place a mandatory heart screening for all student-athletes.

Madi Hecox, a women’s basketball player at Southeastern University, underwent a required Electrocardiogram prior to starting her season and the test revealed a heart issue that could have killed her.

"I think when you tell people how EKG testing can save lives and you tell them just that, if it weren't for them I could've died," Hecox told the local ABC affiliate

Hecox credits Southeastern’s head athletic trainer, BJ Gaesa, with uncovering her heart issue, which would eventually require surgery.

"BJ was literally there every step of the way through everything," said Hecox. "I'm very fortunate to have a trainer like that and for this opportunity to get a heart screening and have my life saved."

The EKG is a simple test. Ten leads connect to the body which read electrical activity in the heart, and then a report is sent to a cardiologist. The simple test saves lives. 

"I know institutions that have had athletic deaths, this year. These things happen all of the time," Gaesa said. "This is something that can be done in a doctor's office within universities, high schools, easily!"

Gaesa says that if a child's school or university does not provide a heart screening, parents should be advocating for one through a physician.

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