7 Health Edge Heart Check helps screen high school athletes

(WXYZ) - On Saturday morning, Melissa Gerndt of Bloomfield Hills wanted to make sure her two children, 16-year-old Zachary and 14-year-old Zoe, didn't have an underlying health issue, so she brought them to the 7 Health Edge Heart Check.

 Zach is a three-sport, varsity athlete at Andover High School. His sister Zoe is a tennis player at the same school. And both of them say having a student at their school die from a sudden heart attack really drove them to want to get their hearts tested.

 Zoe and Zach joined  hundreds of other Michigan high school athletes at the 2012 7 Health Edge Heart Check.

Established in 2007 by WXYZ and a whole team of heart specialists at the Beaumont Hospitals, the heart check puts male and female athletes through an in-depth series of heart tests designed to uncover hidden heart defects that a typical high school sports exam just can't find.

These are expensive tests that would normally cost hundreds of dollars. 

They are tests like the Electrocardiogram and the Echocardiogram that give doctors the ability to look deep inside the beating heart.

But since 2007, thanks to our partners at Beaumont Hospitals and 97.1 Sports Radio,  we've been giving students  these heart screens absolutely free.

This past Saturday at Detroit Lion Tony Sheffler's D-1 Detroit Sports Training Facility, The 7 Health Edge Heart Check successfully screened 400 student athletes.

Of those tested, we discovered 28 students with heart abnormalities serious enough to require follow up with a heart specialist.

All of which brings us to a total of number of 8,556 student athletes we've  tested since we started in 2007.

Our next 7 Health Edge Heart Check is tentatively planned for next January.

Stay tuned to WXYZ-TV Channel 7 News and WXYZ.com for updates on how you can sign up your student athlete for our next free 7 Health Edge Heart Check.

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