MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) – Testing for heart problems used to be just for older people. Saturday in the eastern Hampden County town of Monson, teenagers were tested for possible underlying heart disease. 22News found out who’s behind this concern.
Dozens of teenagers had signed up for the cardiac testing at Monson’s Granite Valley Middle School. It was made possible by KEVS Foundation of Westfield. Susan Canning founded the group in honor of her son, Kevin Majors, a heart attack victim.
“The mission is to bring awareness to sudden cardiac arrest in youth, let’s say from 13 to 19 years old,” said Canning.
KEVS Foundation secured the services of medical volunteers to check out the young athletes to be certain they’re in no danger of suffering a heart seizure.
“It’s rare but if we can find out it can be lifesaving. This organization what it does it provides services costing thousands of dollars doing here for free,” said volunteer Hoang Trinh.
“I came to get screened in case there’s anything wrong then we can catch it. Before anything is to happen and make sure I’m healthy,” said Pat Murphy of Monson.
Student athletes having healthy hearts is the goal of a group called the Monson Athletic Boosters. They want to have automated external defibrillators available not only at Monson schools, but on every athletic field and have the people to use them in an emergency.
“This past Tuesday the boosters funded a program to have the entire coaching staff certified for CPR and AED,” said Sara Szado, President of the Monson Athletic Boosters.
KEVS Foundation’s Susan Canning said her group helped in Monson and want to help in other communities to help prevent the loss of young lives.