Frisco ISD Athletes Undergo Heart Screenings

ECG exams are meant to identify undiagnosed conditions that could contribute to sudden cardiac arrest

Several students in the Frisco Independent School District will undergo preventative heart exams Thursday. They're meant to potentially identify contributing factors to the number one killer of student athletes in this country: sudden cardiac arrest.

“The issues they may be finding on these tests, you won’t find anywhere else, not with questions, with a physical exam,” said Scott English, an athletic trainer at Frisco Liberty High School, about the life-saving effort.

The electrocardiograms, or ECGs, will be provided for student athletes and school band members at a cost of $20 thanks in large part to a partnership with a nonprofit organization called the Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Memorial Foundation.

Cody Stephens was a high school senior from Crosby, Texas, who died unexpectedly in his sleep a few weeks prior to graduation in the spring of 2012 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Stephens, a mountain of a young man at 6’9” and 289 pounds, had a football scholarship to continue his athletic career at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

The foundation, which is dedicated to making these preventative examinations more readily available for Texas teenagers, has partnered with approximately 250 school districts across the state, including several in Dallas-Fort Worth:

  • Arlington ISD
  • Azle ISD
  • Birdville ISD
  • Carroll ISD
  • Celina ISD
  • Coppell ISD
  • Dallas ISD
  • DeSoto ISD
  • Denton ISD
  • Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD
  • Duncanville ISD
  • Fort Worth ISD
  • Frisco ISD
  • Kaufman ISD
  • McKinney ISD
  • Northwest ISD
  • Prosper ISD
  • Red Oak ISD

The organization has already helped to diagnose 85 previously undiscovered heart conditions which could have resulted in serious consequences for the student athletes.

“That’s been the most rewarding whenever you happen to have an abnormality come back and I get to hear the story from the parents and the students saying, ‘You saved my life,’” said Nathan Schwarz, who helped to administer the ECGs for the Frisco students on behalf of the Cody Stephens Foundation. “There’s nothing more rewarding than to be able to see a kid who a doctor [later] said, ‘If you didn’t get screened you might not be here today.’”

Contact Us