Teen Likely Saved by Routine Physical

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It is common practice for schools to require athletes to have a routine physical before their sports season begins to ensure the athlete is healthy enough to participate.

For Colin Baca, a sophomore at North High School in Eastlake, that routine physical potentially saved his life.

The 15-year-old had been participating in weekly baseball workouts and had already played high school soccer when he visited his pediatrician for his physical.

The pediatrician heard a heart murmur which she had not noticed during prior visits, and recommended Baca see a cardiologist as a precaution.

Baca had an appointment that day, where he was told that heart murmurs are not that uncommon for young athletes, but was advised to get a stress echocardiogram just in case.

A few days later, Baca had a stress echocardiogram at the Cleveland Clinic.

The next evening, he received a call from the cardiologist who diagnosed Baca with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal disease.

There have been many incidents in which high school athletes die suddenly during a competition without symptoms or warnings.

Those deaths are believed to be caused by Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Famous basketball players Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis both died of the disease.

Therefore, Baca was told to immediately stop all competitive sports.

Any activity that could cause his heart rate to increase could be dangerous, from running to riding roller coasters.

This lead to a major lifestyle change for Baca. He was disappointed at first, but is now grateful to have been diagnosed before tragedy struck.

Baca hopes that through sharing his story, others will realize the importance of the routine sports and back-to-school physicals.

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