Beaumont Student Heart Check program celebrates screening its 20,000th student athlete

1 young athlete dies every 3 days from sudden cardiac death

DEARBORN, Mich. – You can’t tell a child has a heart condition by just looking at them. That’s why on Saturday at Dearborn High School, youth athletes across the region are going through the free Beaumont Student Heart Check program.

They host multiple community screenings a year, and today the program is celebrating checking their 20,000 student athlete.

One young athlete dies every three days from sudden cardiac death. It’s an alarming statistic that this program is geared towards change.

“There’s going to be a long life outside of sports, but we sure want him to enjoy his time in it,” said Richard Wolski, father of Dearborn High School student athlete Karl.

Every parent who signed up their children for the Beaumont student heart check community screening has their why. Wolski’s son Karl, a 9th grader, is quite the athlete at Dearborn High School, splitting his time between soccer, basketball and track.

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“The kid looks like he is in perfect health,” said Wolski. “I love to see him out there competing, but if they can find something that we can’t that can either help him, that’s everything.”

When students step into Dearborn High School, they get screened beyond what they get during a physical.

“Students that come in for their appointment will get their blood pressure,” said Beaumont Student Heart Check manager Jennifer Shea. “They’ll learn hands-only CPR and how to use an AED they get an AKG, cardiologist reviews that AKG, goes over their health history with them and does a quick ultrasound of the heart.”

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At every community screening, they put up photos of young people who didn’t get the same opportunity so families understand the weight the day carries. But the program’s mission goes beyond an individual student.

“Through our donors and our sponsors, we’re able to provide AEDs for schools that don’t have enough AEDs or have any AEDs and we’re also able to go in with CPR training for staff and walk them through the process of becoming a heart-safe school which means they’ve done the preparation needed to respond appropriately in case of a cardiac arrest,” said Shea.

There are community screening events about three times a year. If you want to do a heart health risk assessment, click here.

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About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.