Play for Patrick provides free heart screenings to teenagers and young adults

Updated: October 26, 2019 10:39 PM

Next month marks five years since a 14-year-old hockey player collapsed on the ice in Brainerd and died. Patrick Schoonover was competing in the Blue Ox Hockey Bantam AA Tournament.

“He was a ball of fire and a great kid,” said Mike Schoonover, his father. “A good friend, a good brother, a good son, and so we really miss him.”


Patrick had scored the first goal of the game before he collapsed.

“He had two undetected conditions with his heart, and we didn't know about it," Schoonover said.

About 200 people aged 14 to 24 turned out Saturday to Eastview High School in Apple Valley to receive heart screenings held by Play for Patrick, a nonprofit Patrick Schoonover's parents founded in his memory to provide free heart screenings for teenagers and young adults.

“We’re happy he’s helping to help others,” Schoonover said.

Saturday marked the 20th screening the organization has hosted since Patrick's death. It was held at the high school he would have graduated from.

The screenings give a full picture of the heart, starting with blood pressure taken on both arms. People who come to the screenings also receive an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram.

“We’re close to 3,000 kids that we've screened and close to 300 kids that we've found heart defects with, whether it's structural or electrical, and close to 300 kids we've found high blood pressure,” Schoonover said. “It doesn't matter if you're young or old, high blood pressure is high blood pressure, and it can lead to other health conditions.”

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Volunteers also taught CPR and how to use an AED.

“It’s important to know CPR and AED because if you see someone, even if it's a stranger, fallen and they're not responsive you can help save a life,” said Kaylyn Rosewell, who passed out in June after finishing a performance at a dance recital.

There happened to be nurses and doctors in the audience. They did CPR for at least 20 minutes before shocking Rosewell’s heart back to life twice.

“I started feeling dizzy and everything, fell to the ground, turned blue and started foaming at the mouth,” she said. “My mom is like, 'OK, we need to get people up here.'”

Rosewell said she had to get open chest surgery because she had a misplaced artery. Doctors found a patent foramen ovule — a hole in her heart — and sewed it up. She now has an internal cadriac defibrillator.

“So if I do go into cardiac arrest again, it will shock me and revive me,” she said.

Rosewell decided to volunteer at the screening after getting a call from Schoonover.

“I just thought it was amazing,” she said. “People can learn to do CPR and AED and save a life, which saved my life, and find out they have heart issues before they collapse.”

Several doctors also volunteered their time, including Jay Sengupta, a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute.

“It’s a very small percentage of these kids that do have something serious, but when it's detected, it can be lifesaving,” Sengupta said.

He explained that family history is extremely important. There are also symptoms to look out for.

“Palpitations, feeling like your heart is pounding or racing, feeling dizzy, light headed, feeling like you're going to pass out, passing out,” Sengupta said.

Those symptoms can also be coupled with chest pain and shortness of breath, he said. It’s important to see a doctor if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms. 

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Callan Gray

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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