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Headlines: University of Minnesota Heart Care Cardiologist teams up with Schoonover family to detect heart abnormalities

Cardiologist Charles Kim, MD, FACC, hopes improved heart screening can help detect aneurysms or other heart abnormalities that could prove fatal in teenagers.
University of Minnesota Heart Care Cardiologist Charles Kim, MD, FACC is working with the parents of Patrick Schoonover to implement an affordable heart screening option for high school athletes in Minnesota. Kim was interviewed by KSTP News in January.

Cardiologist Charles Kim, MD, FACC, doesn’t want anyone else to experience the tragedy that struck Mike and Gayle Schoonover in 2014, when their 14-year-old son Patrick collapsed on the ice during a hockey tournament and passed away.

Doctors later determined that Patrick suffered from a rare, difficult-to-detect heart defect that led to his cardiac arrest on the ice. Now, Charles Kim, a University of Minnesota Health Heart Care cardiovascular disease specialist, plans to team up with the Schoonovers to raise money for the development of an affordable heart screening option for athletes.

Their efforts drew the attention of KSTP News, which featured Kim and the Schoonovers on Feb. 2.

Click here to watch the KSTP segment on their heart screening initiative.

Kim and the Schoonovers will use money raised through the Schoonover’s “Play for Patrick Fund” to implement limited echocardiograms, a basic EKG and group counseling to proactively detect physical and electrical abnormalities in young athlete’s hearts. Ordinarily, these procedures costs roughly $2,000—an expense the group hopes to defray through fundraising.

Kim, who plans to donate his time to conduct the screenings, hopes to launch the program within three months. They hope the initiative will help parents of high school athletes detect heart abnormalities so the family can take preventive measures, if necessary.

“If we find somebody with a large aneurysm, this could be potentially life-saving for that individual,” Kim told KSTP during an interview in January. “We’re hoping to start with some hockey athletes, because it is a high-impact sport and they may be at higher risk than some of the other sports.”

As of Tuesday, Feb. 3, the Schoonovers had raised $31,325 in a gofundme account under Patrick’s name.

“The more funding we get, the more we can do,” Kim told KSTP. “For the people who are at the highest risk, I would like to see them get some help and get some knowledge of the condition so they can make informed decisions for themselves.”