User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

59° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.


[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


A Life-Saving Screening

January 5, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

A Life-Saving Screening
Matt Lepke

PARKSTON, SD - Each year in the United States, around 2,000 young adults die from sudden cardiac arrest. But they can be prevented with regular heart screenings.

That preventative medicine is credited with saving the lives of at least two South Dakotans.

Matt Lepke has been making great strides since we first brought you his story less than a year ago. The eighth grader had open heart surgery after a heart screening found a hole in Lepke's heart and an enlarged right side.

"He just got the okay three weeks ago. He can do all sports again, all contact sports, football, everything," Parkston Girl's Basketball Head Coach Rob Van Laecken said.

Van Laecken is Lepke's great uncle. After hearing that a heart screening possibly saved Lepke's life, Van Laecken looked into the possibility of having a heart screening clinic at his school.

"You can't make them be screened. It does cost, but at least give them that opportunity," Van Laecken said.

More than 100 students did get checked during a heart screening in Parkston held by the school, Screening America, and Avera St. Benedict Health Center.

"We think they're extremely important. In fact, we offered this to surrounding schools, to bring their athletes in too, if they would like to. And we'll do that in the future again," Gale Walker, the CEO and President of Avera St. Benedict Health Center, said.

And Van Laecken agrees that future screenings should be held because of what they found. Doctors diagnosed eighth grader Sam Herrold with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

"Sam is proof why, a great reason why we did it because of where she's at today. If we wouldn't have had the screening, we wouldn't have known about it," Van Laecken said.

While Van Laecken knows of two cases within the past year, he says he realizes that's unusual. But he still encourages others to get checked.

The screening costs around $90.

For a list of upcoming heart screenings, visit the Screening America website.

Previous Story

Next Story





View healthbeat

You may also like

General Mills Recalling 1.8M Cheerios Boxes On Allergy Risk

10/5/2015 4:40 PM

General Mills is recalling 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at a plant in Lodi, California, saying the cereal is labeled ...

Full Story
Flu Survivor: Take The Illness Seriously

9/30/2015 6:17 PM

The 26-year-old young mother was suffering from heart and kidney failure. Both a result of the flu.

Full Story | Watch
Keeping Faith In This Year's Flu Shots

9/29/2015 6:02 PM

Despite last year's vaccine not protecting everyone from the flu, many people across KELOLAND still have faith in this year's shot.

Full Story | Watch
Crowdfunding An Adoption

10/2/2015 6:18 PM

An increasing number of people are using crowdfunding for adoption, or in-vitro fertilization.

Full Story | Watch
The Importance Of Annual Screenings For Men

10/5/2015 6:13 PM

One of the biggest health mistakes many men make is not regularly going to the doctor for screenings.

Full Story | Watch