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9th grader (with HCM) collapses in gym, later dies

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  • 9th grader (with HCM) collapses in gym, later dies

    1 of 2 DOCUMENTS

    The Associated Press State & Local Wire

    The materials in the AP file were compiled by The Associated Press. These
    materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The
    Associated Press.

    May 9, 2003, Friday, BC cycle

    6:04 AM Eastern Time

    SECTION: State and Regional

    LENGTH: 427 words

    BODY:
    News in brief from the Philadelphia area


    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A ninth-grader with a serious heart condition who was
    playing basketball in gym class Thursday collapsed and later died, officials
    said.

    Robert Scales, 15, of East Germantown, was declared dead at noon at Albert
    Einstein Medical Center, where he had been taken after collapsing about 10:30
    a.m. at Germantown High School.

    The cause of death was not immediately known.

    Paul G. Vallas, the district's chief executive officer, said Scales had
    hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a chronic condition that affects the heart muscles.
    Because of his condition, the teenager was not allowed to take gym or
    participate in any physical activity, Vallas said.

    Vallas said he was launching an inquiry as to why Scales had been enrolled in
    gym class.

    Vallas said he wanted to review the medical profile of every student in the
    district to make sure other students with similar limitations are not
    participating in dangerous activities.

    "We need to make sure everyone is following these rules," Vallas said.

    LOAD-DATE: May 9, 2003


    2 of 2 DOCUMENTS

    Copyright 2003 Philadelphia Inquirer
    All Rights Reserved
    Philadelphia Inquirer

    May 9, 2003 Friday CITY-D-EAST EDITION

    SECTION: PHILADELPHIA; Pg. B01

    LENGTH: 504 words

    HEADLINE: City 9th grader collapses in gym, later dies

    BYLINE: By Susan Snyder and Thomas J. Gibbons Jr.; Inquirer Staff Writers

    BODY:
    A Germantown High School ninth grader who had been playing basketball in gym
    class yesterday - despite having a longtime serious heart condition - collapsed
    and later died, officials said.

    Robert Scales, 15, of East Germantown, was declared dead at noon at Albert
    Einstein Medical Center, where he had been taken after collapsing about 10:30
    a.m. The cause of death was not immediately known.

    Paul G. Vallas, the district's chief executive officer, said Scales had
    hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a chronic condition that affects the heart muscles.
    Because of his condition, the teenager was not allowed to take gym or
    participate in any physical activity, Vallas said in an interview last night.

    Vallas said he was launching an inquiry as to why Scales had been enrolled in
    gym class and playing basketball.

    "Clearly he was active when he should not have been active," Vallas said.

    The schools chief - who visited the family at their home last night - said he
    also wanted to review the medical profile of every student in the district to
    make sure that other youngsters with similar limitations are not participating
    in dangerous activities.

    "We need to make sure everyone is following these rules," Vallas said.

    Scales, who according to Vallas had been prohibited from taking gym since
    2000, was playing basketball during a regular gym class yesterday when he
    collapsed.

    Efforts to reach the teenager's parents last night were unsuccessful.

    Teachers, athletic officials and school police quickly cleared about 60
    students from the gym while rendering medical help to Scales, said Vincent
    Thompson, a district spokesman. Four gym teachers and the school nurse helped in
    giving the teen cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and emergency workers arrived
    within six minutes of being called.

    Scales was pronounced dead about noon.

    The death stunned staff and students, some of whom had been in the gym when
    Scales collapsed.

    "This is a devastating loss to the district and to the Germantown High School
    family," Thompson said late yesterday afternoon.

    Thompson said Scales - who Vallas said had an older brother at Germantown
    High - was "a nice, outgoing, energetic, friendly kid. His classmates really
    liked him, and it's going to be hard for them."

    The school district last month received a $100,000 donation from the
    Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association for 73 portable automated external
    defibrillators for the city's high schools and gymnasiums. Although some of
    those devices have gone out to schools, Germantown did not have one as of
    yesterday, Thompson said.

    Automated external defibrillators administer an electric charge to the heart,
    which can restart and reset heartbeats for people suffering cardiac arrest.

    The district provided grief counseling to staff, students and family members,
    and plans to do so again today. Members of the school community can call the
    district's specialized services at 267-688-6871.

    Contact staff writer Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or [email protected]

    LOAD-DATE: May 9, 2003
    Thanks, Tim
    Forum Administrator

  • #2
    Re: 9th grader (with HCM) collapses in gym, later dies

    God Bless Robert Scales may he rest in peace and may others learn from his life.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family today.

    Sincerely,
    Lisa Salberg
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 9th grader (with HCM) collapses in gym, later dies

      May God be with Robert's family during this time of sadness......

      Reenie
      Reenie

      ****************
      Husband has HCM.
      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

      Comment

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