Marysville Getchell High School hearts screened in ‘the nick of time’

MARYSVILLE — More than 400 Marysville Getchell High School students were screened Wednesday for undetected heart problems.

It was the first Nick of Time event held in Marysville, said Dean Shelton, a fire district captain and the union secretary-treasurer.

Nick of Time, a Mill Creek-based nonprofit, provides free health screening for young people in hopes of preventing heart attacks and deaths.

Volunteers at Marysville’s event included off-duty firefighters, doctors and nurses, Shelton said. Some had lost children to heart problems and some had survived heart attacks in their youth as well.

“Prevention is one of the key things we do as firefighters,” he said.

Last year, Matthew Truax, 16, a junior at Meadowdale High School, died in a gym class from undetected heart problems. Truax’ family has worked closely with the Edmonds School District to make safety changes, including installing additional automated external defibrillators “AEDs” in schools and updating student medical forms, district spokeswoman DJ Jakala said.

In Marysville, the volunteers found several students who showed potential heart problems and needed additional medical screening, Shelton said.

They also provided training for students on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an AED.

That way, the teens could save the life of a family member or friend.

It was an incredible event, said Greg Erickson, the Marysville schools athletic director.

“It’s a labor of love,” Erickson said. “It’s one of those kinds of things that just really hits your heart when you see it. It was a good day.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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