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BISD gets grant to screen 1,000 athletes for heart conditions
BEAUMONT - The Beaumont school district is taking extra steps to help safeguard young athletes.
The district is using a grant to screen1,000 student athletes for heart conditions.
The screening begins tomorrow at Ozen High School and continues Friday at Central and Monday at West Brook.
Money to pay for the testing comes through a grant from a memorial foundation in Crosby.
It was created by the parents of a young athlete who died from a heart condition.
A heart condition claimed the life of West Orange Stark quarterback Reggie Garrett several years ago.
BEAUMONT - From BISD
Thanks to a grant from the Cody Stephens Memorial Foundation, screening of 1,000 Beaumont ISD athletes for heart conditions will began this week at the high school field houses. Ozen screenings will be Thursday, followed by Central on Friday and West Brook on Monday.
EKG equipment and professional staff will conduct the screenings. Any concerns discovered in the student athlete’s testing results will include recommendations for a doctor’s visit and possibly additional testing.
Rodney Saveat, director of athletics in BISD, said "We are thankful for this support. The $15,000 grant will help us screen at least a third of all the athletes in our district. These are youth who compete in a number of sports, ranging from football, basketball, tennis and soccer to swimming, track, baseball, volleyball and more. This is a major contribution to helping us be more proactive in preventing catastrophic attacks such as the ones suffered by Crosby High’s late Cody Stevens and West Orange Stark High’s late Reggie Garrett."
Cody’s father, Scott Stephens, and his family turned a personal tragedy into a way to help others. After losing his son to sudden cardiac arrest, Stephens started the "Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Memorial Foundation," offering grants to school districts to help provide heart screenings for student athletes. Stephens presented Beaumont ISD with a grant to help the district start its program to provide low-cost EKG testing for students who are required to have pre-participation physicals for University Interscholastic League (UIL) activities. (The EKG screening is an additional step beyond the standard student athlete physical.)
Stephens explains that the simple test might have revealed the heart problem that claimed the life of his son last May. Cody was just a few weeks away from graduation at Crosby High School and was looking forward to showing his pig, steer and lamb at the Crosby Fair and Rodeo in June. The 6’9", 289 lb. athlete also was preparing to attend college on a football scholarship. On that Sunday afternoon, Cody took a nap in his father’s recliner and never woke up.
Since then, Stephens has devoted his efforts to trying to make sure that no other parents go through what he and his family have experienced. The foundation in his son’s name-in keeping with Cody’s favorite saying, "Go Big or Go Home!-has awarded grants to more than 15 school districts to help provide the screenings for students who are unable to cover the costs.
When former Beaumont ISD Coach Steve Shaver passed away in March, his family posted the following message. "As Coach Shaver devoted his life to the well being of both mind and body of his student athletes, the family requests in lieu of flowers, remembrances be sent to The Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Memorial Foundation which is a 501c(3) foundation that promotes and provides funding for the use of ECG heart screening with student athletic physicals throughout Texas. "
"We are very appreciative of the funds we received in Coach Shaver's memory and honor to the Cody Stephens Foundation and want to provide low-cost EKG screening of UIL participants and ensure that all students, even those that cannot afford it, may participate in the testing," Stephens said. The foundation has teamed up with Cypress ECG Project which actually does the screenings. Cypress ECG has done over 30,000 tests over the past decade.