In-class screening sponsored by Allina reveals Anoka High School athlete’s heart defect

[Star Tribune, March 08, 2011] Anoka High School sophomore Gavin Putt took a pass on a medical screening offered in his health class, Healthy Living, last fall. His teacher this trimester made the in-class screenings mandatory, and for Putt, it may have been a lifesaver.

His blood pressure reading came in high -- 183/86 -- and more tests revealed that, for all of his 16 years, the avid hockey and soccer player has had a congenital heart condition that is potentially fatal if he overworks his heart.

Over the past 16 years, about 10,000 sophomores at Anoka and Coon Rapids high schools have had the health-class screenings through a program administered by Allina Hospitals and Clinics and funded by the hospital group and the local Lions Clubs.

"Without that class," said Putt's father, Jay, "we'd be relying on his next physical and hoping nothing happens in between."

Share this article