Free heart screening may have saved teen's life

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A grandmother had no idea bringing her grandson to a free heart screening was a move that may have saved his life. 

When you see 18-year-old Kamari Delaney, he looks healthy. But doctors at Providence Hospital discovered a heart defect that he's had his whole life.

Kamari is one of hundreds who came to the FOX 2 Healthy Heart Project on Saturday, which provided free heart screenings at Providence, St. John Macomb Oakland and Ascension Crittenden hospitals. Kamari had been feeling like his heart was racing and fluttering -- and it turns out he was right. 

The EKG, part of the free screening, sent a big warning to cardiologist Dipak Shah. Kamari has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is a congenital heart defect, meaning it's something you're born with. Symptoms include dizziness, heart palpitations or trouble breathing. It's rare, but serious. 

"The worry about Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is it can cause cardia arrest. This is something that needs to be evaluated and followed up on," Dr. Shah says.

Kamari says he feels relieved after the screening. 

And there's good news, too. The electrical problem in Kamari's heart can be fixed. 

"If something needs to be done, I can go through a vein in the leg and find where the short circuit is and burn that, and that's usually an outpatient procedure and you go home the same day, and that would take care of all the palpitations you're feeling and take care of the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome," Dr. Shah explained to Kamari. 

For young people like Kamari, there are often free heart screenings for teenagers, in particular, that can detect congenital heart defects.

It is patients like Kamari that make us proud of our Healthy Heart Project and we look forward to doing it again next year.