Friends and family continue to be shocked by the news of West High School junior Sierra Gabbert's heart attack last Thursday.
Gabbert, a two-sport standout for the Vikings, suffered the heart attack at home. Even though it did not happen on the field, it is raising awareness about testing young athletes for heart issues.
Dr. Jared Salvo, a cardio electrophysiologist at Central Cardiology Medical Clinic, says that athletes put additional strain on their hearts compared to "normal" people.
"In an athlete, it can be something congenial where they were born with either a structural abnormality in their heart or perhaps the heart does not metabolize electrolytes in a normal fashion," said Dr. Salvo.
Friends of Gabbert say that she remains in critical condition. A test conducted yesterday showed that Gabbert has an extra nerve in her heart and it might be the cause of the heart attack.
Dr. Salvo says EKG testing is not standard in the U.S. but it could help find potential heart issues for young athletes.