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Death of young athlete in Maine


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  • Death of young athlete in Maine

    [Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-24-02 09:16

    Hello to all,

    I am sad to report that HCM has stuck again, without warning. I was contacted yesterday by the press who informed me this fine young man had died on the football field. While I have been slightly misquoted in the article to follow as having said " SD IS the first symptom..." rather than "SD CAN BE the first symptom" and there is confusion in the article re Athletes heart vs HCM, it is a nice article explaining what happened.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Travis Mendoa's family and friends as they lay him to rest. God Bless Travis.


    Lisa Salberg



    Saturday, August 24, 2002

    Young athlete's death blamed on enlarged heart

    By GISELLE GOODMAN, Portland Press Herald Writer

    Copyright © 2002 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

    Officials say Travis Mendoza's sudden death while playing football was cuased by athletic heart muscle disease.

    YORK — A 14-year-old boy who died after collapsing at football practice had an undetected heart condition known to cause sudden death in young athletes, authorities said Friday. Travis Mendoza, 14, collapsed around 7 p.m. Thursday while scrimmaging with his team, the York Junior Wildcats, at the York High School field. He died at York Hospital an hour later.

    His sudden death shocked the community, where many people knew him as a respectful, kind boy who devoted himself to the game.

    "He loved the sport. It was something he really enjoyed doing," said Salvatore Sala, president of York Youth Football. "He was a really good kid. It was a very unfortunate thing to have happened. Everybody is grieving about it."

    The state Medical Examiner's Office said Mendoza died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also known as athletic heart muscle disease. The genetic heart condition, also known as an enlarged heart, often has no symptoms and results in the growth of abnormal heart muscle cells.

    As a player on the youth football league, Mendoza had undergone a required physical. But Lisa Salberg, president of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association in New Jersey said the heart condition more than likely would not have been found with a routine check-up. She said an EKG could have alerted doctors to the disease.

    "Unfortunately, the first symptom is sudden death," she said. "And if sudden death is the first symptom, then, obviously, early detection is the only way to prevent needless death."

    Salberg said approximately 40 percent of young athletes who die suddenly have probable or definite hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    York police Detective Thomas Cryan said Mendoza collapsed while running plays. Cryan said a doctor, who was picking up his son from soccer practice, and a nurse, who was watching her son play football, rushed to the boy's aid. Despite immediate response from police and rescue personnel, Mendoza could not be revived.

    Sala said Mendoza had been on the town-sponsored Wildcats team for two years and looked forward to playing in high school. Mendoza was going into the eighth grade this year.

    Sala, who announced the youth football games, said he gave Mendoza the nickname "Moolah Mendoza."

    "Because he was always on the money," said Sala. "He was always there always ready to play."

    Youth football in town is suspended until further notice out of respect for Mendoza, Sala said, and the York Junior Wildcats' first game of the season on Sunday against Somersworth, N.H. was also canceled.

    A fund for York Youth Football and the York Skateboard Park have been established in Mendoza's name at the York branch of People's Heritage Trust. Visiting hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Lucas and Eaton Funeral Home on Long Sands Road. Information about survivors was unavailable. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the First Parish Church on York Street.

    "He will be dearly missed," Sala said.


    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-24-02 09:34

    My apologies... Our thoughts are with Travis Mendoza's Family ...

    - there was a typo in the families name.


    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-24-02 10:29

    Dear Lisa

    My heart goes out to the Mendoza family. It is too bad the reporter didn't get the HCM part right.

    When the paper misquotes you, do you write them a letter correcting them? It says an ECG would have picked it up, but I thought that some people have clean ECGs too. Did I have that wrong?

    So sad. So needless.



    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-24-02 14:02

    Sarah -

    I have sent a letter to the reporter requesteing a correction, I am sure they will do the right thing, I do not believe she ment harm with the misquote, it is overwhelming work to hit dead lines with such a heart breaking story as this.



    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Julie E (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 08-26-02 14:48

    My brother had an EKG 6 months before he died and was given a clean bill of health.

    I always thought an echo was the best tool to diagnos HCM.



    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-26-02 15:11

    Dear Julie

    I think that was one of the parts that was misquoted as it is only an echo that can image the heart and see any hypertrophy.



    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Allen Bates (---.motorola.com)

    Date: 08-27-02 11:08

    The follow up article in the paper says, in part:

    "... all Pee-Wee and Junior football athletes must present the league with proof they have successfully completed an annual physical in order to qualify to play each season. 'We will not issue the equipment and they cannot play or practice until they have proof of a physical,' Sala said." (Sal Sala, president of York Youth Football)

    Without cardiovascular screening for pre-participation physicals both parents and coaches will continue to wonder why. As a parent myself, I know that I thought that the sports physical was adequate.


    ps- Lisa, I'm not real familiar with how message boards work, will anyone see this answer, since this thread is a few days old? I myself had to keep clicking "older messages" to get here.


    [Re: Death of young athlete in Maine]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-27-02 14:06

    Dear Allen

    I always check waaaaaaaaaay back b/c I know this happens. However, when a thread has enough new posts, I think it floats back up to the top.

    Allen, you are so right. It is so shameful that pro/college/high school athletes are not given echocardiograms.

    Sadly, more kids will probably die before the issue gets addressed. It seems to be the American way that a lot of people (or one really "important" person) has to die before anything changes.

    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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