Family Focus: Event could help determine health risks for students

by: Erica Bryant Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Registration just opened for an event that could save your child's life: It can help determine if a student athlete is at risk for sudden death.
 
“There’s a lot of people on the swim team, so you make a bunch of friends,” said Alicia Tucker.

Tucker loves swimming for Mallard Creek High School.
 
However, last year during team physicals at Carolinas Medical Center’s Heart of a Champion day, doctors spotted a problem.
 
“I actually started crying because I was really scared,” she said.
 
Alicia was diagnosed with a heart condition that carries the risk of sudden death. She was referred immediately for a corrective procedure.
 
Her mother was shocked.
 
“She’s gone to every well baby visit, every physical, but something wrong with her and we found out it's since she was born that she had it,” said Roxanne Tucker.
 
The family is encouraging other teens to attend this year’s Heart of a Champion event.
 
It offers free physicals, including electrocardiograms.
 
“A simple heart tracing that we can do,” said Dr. David Price. “Quick, easy, painless. (It can) really give us a lot more information.”
               
Price came up with the concept for the event.
               
It can also catch other health issues for young people who may not have a primary care physician.
 
“High blood pressure, poor vision and concussions that haven’t been treated, and our goal at this event is to diagnose this and red flag it,” he said.
 
Alicia is active again with no restrictions.
               
Her mom is praising the program that she believes saved her daughter's life.
 
“Definitely, definitely she could've been in that situation -- sudden death -- and I could've lost my child,” Roxanne said.
 
The program has expanded to include 10th- through 12th-grade student athletes in York, Lincoln and Union counties.
 
For more information on how to register, click here.