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Carol Boslet and grandson Mac Gallagher with a picture of Ryan Boslet, the inspiration for Healthy Hearts for Sports. (Photo by Jared Castaldi)Rosemont’s Carol Boslet doesn’t want anyone’s child to share the same fate as her grandson, Ryan. Seven years ago, during morning sprints, the 17-year-old football player died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart defect. “We have to be proactive, not reactive,” says Boslet.

The grandmother of nine held her first Healthy Hearts for Sports screening in 2008, distributing 1,000 flyers and writing 70 letters to athletic directors. Only 18 students attended. All tested healthy.

In 2003, Boslet volunteered to help screen students at Ryan’s high school in Alpharetta, Ga. The first Saturday, two of 200 high schoolers had questionable screenings. The next Saturday, a girl learned she had a hole in her heart. “You don’t know those things until you do testing,” Boslet says. “Until something tragic happens, people think, ‘Oh, my child’s OK.’”

Boslet says routine physicals are inadequate for picking up heart defects. She promotes electrocardiography (ECG or EKG) to detect abnormalities. Beyond that, warning signs include shortness of breath, dizziness or chest pain during exercise, and feeling faint after exercise.

HHFS’ 15-minute ECGs cost $30, after help from sponsors. Bryn Mawr Rotary Club is on board for the second screening, with Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church as host. But it’s on hold, pending additional financial support.

To learn more or become a sponsor, call (610) 520-1036.
 

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