150 De La Salle High School Students Screened for Abnormal Heart Conditions

August 21, 2015 8:00 am · 22 comments



De La Salle High School launched its sport season with a free heart screening presented by the Darius Jones Foundation (DJF).

On August, 15th 150 students were screened and five hearts were found to be abnormal. Players from the basketball, volleyball, cross country, football and tennis team participated in a complimentary screening, equating $2,000 in cost for every student.

In collaboration, the Darius Jones Foundation, Contra Costa County Medical Reserve Corps (CCCMRC), Heart of the Valley Cardiologist, American Medical Response (AMR) and medical volunteers across the county came together to search for potential heart abnormalities in these athletic students.

“My desire for a heart screening occurred after the death of my son, Darius Jones” said Beverly Monique Bradley, mother and founder of the Darius Jones Foundation. Darius suffered from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during a basketball game at De La Salle in 2009. SCA is not a heart attack, it’s an abnormality in the hearts electrical system that abruptly stops the heartbeat. “He had an undiagnosed heart condition and that tragic moment inspired me to start this foundation, bearing his name. Each organization involved played a huge role in the planning process and helped to make this project a reality,” she explained.

During the screening, the students stopped at six stations. The CCCMRC brought six medical professionals to assist with logistics, blood pressure, heart sounds, EKG, and provide Hands Only CPR and AED education and training.

More than 175 students and parents walked away with the knowledge and training to successfully save a life if needed. “Hands Only CPR training is crucial in ensuring we live in heart safe communities and are satisfying all elements of the SCA chain of survival,” says Lisa Vajgrt-Smith, CCCMRC Coordinator. The CCCMRC is instrumental in promoting this training throughout Contra Costa County.

The electrocardiogram or EKG station was administered by American Medical Response. “An EKG machine takes a picture of the heart and its electrical activity” says Alicia Moore, Community Outreach Coordinator for AMR. “The first step to prevention is detection” said Moore. The EKG machine has the ability to pick up on an abnormal heart condition, preventing another unexpected death in our community.” Moore continues.

Mike Griffin, Andrew Maxwell and Christina Sheridan, pediatric cardiologists from Heart of the Valley Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Cardiology Associates directed the echo station. An echocardiogram is an ultra sound test of the heart. Cardiologist read the EKGs and oversaw the performance of echocardiograms on students who needed further diagnoses. “We found a few athletes with major concerns, needing immediate attention” says Andrew Maxwell, Pediatric Cardiologist. “We also found some athletes with minor concerns which should not go unmonitored. Although sudden cardiac death in athletes is somewhat rare, it’s still happens several time a year in the Bay Area. The Darius Jones’ story reminds us of that fact. It’s a number we want to decrease.” continues Maxwell.

Well Folks August 21, 2015 at 8:07 AM

Bev Bradley and the Darius Jones Foundation do a fabulous job and I am proud and honored to be associated with them

CVCHS Parent August 21, 2015 at 9:01 AM

This is so awesome! What a terrific program. Early detection of those handful of athletes and saving their lives is what it’s all about. Nice job DLS.

Mike August 21, 2015 at 9:38 AM

This is sounds like a great program/wonderful idea.

My daughter is an athlete at Carondelet. Maybe next year (or even this year) they could extend the screening to cover both schools?

Silva August 21, 2015 at 9:51 AM

What a wonderful program!

Nutcreek Frontier August 21, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Wonderful of the mother to channel her energy/love into helping prevent more tragedies from occurring. Blessing to her.

thx4youropinion August 21, 2015 at 2:31 PM

Having lost my son when he was 15 (at school) to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, I encourage the students to take full advantage of this. I didn’t know that my son had a heart problem. He wasn’t an athlete. He wasn’t symptomatic.

I didn’t know that **I** have a heart problem. It took his death to learn that 1) we had/have it; 2) it is congenital.

Just because you feel great doesn’t mean that there isn’t an issue with your heart.

Kudos De La Salle High School!

Diane August 21, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Too bad this program is not available “free” to Public Schools. Athletics with heart problems are not only seen at Private Schools!

Khloe August 21, 2015 at 5:58 PM

@ Diane public education is free along w/ smart phones, medical, food stamps, housing, etc… so shut it.

Moving right along, I admire this mother for making a difference in her son’s memory.

Eudamonia August 21, 2015 at 6:03 PM

So, I get the connection between the mother of Darius Jones and the school, but seriously why are the young wome(from Carondelet) not included and why not public schools? Children who attend private schools are more likely to have better health care and medical attention. It’s the children on the margins in poor neighborhoods that I worry about. Who is organizing for them?

Cowellian August 21, 2015 at 6:17 PM

Feel free to set up your own charitable foundation to provide any services that are important to you, to anyone you choose.

annon August 21, 2015 at 6:56 PM

I think this is a wonderful program. I am surprised that they found that many with problems.

Wonderful August 21, 2015 at 10:17 PM

Elitism in action! Kudos

Christine August 21, 2015 at 10:43 PM

UCSF provides a screening to public schools around the Bay Area every year called PlaySafe. I encourage you to look into it. Hope this helps.

Elisa August 22, 2015 at 12:51 AM

@Eudamonia and Diane: I agree that ideally this program should be offered to everyone. However, I think it should be obvious that this foundation is a small one with a limited budget and because it was founded in Darius’s memory, it makes sense that it serves the sports team from his former high school. Somebody SHOULD be organizing other community programs like this to serve a larger population, so why can’t it be you? Think about it.

TeacherMan August 22, 2015 at 1:20 PM

I wonder who paid the $300,000 to fund this? But these parents can afford it. If the services were donated it should be done for other schools, especially those who’s parents are not as entitled.

a mom August 23, 2015 at 7:13 PM

John Muir Hospital does do this! I took my son last year to get him checked out. Ask your child’s coach to contact John Muir, Concord Campus to find out when the next one is scheduled!

Allan Tobias August 28, 2015 at 9:08 AM

The Foundation has performed screening at Freedom High School and is planning to screen this year at Northgate and Pittsburg High. If you wish your school screened please contact us at dariusjonesfoundtion.org.

Parker August 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM


We are working hard over here at DJF to bring these screenings to as many schools as we can in the Bay Area, public or private. If you think your school should be screened, please reach out! Talk to your administrators and help us provide these services to your community!

Monique Bradley August 28, 2015 at 10:19 AM

The Darius Jones Foundation offer’s FREE Heart screenings to all students between the ages of 9 – 24 years old. Heart screenings may reveal undetected heart abnormalities that could put teens at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. The screening includes a health history form completed by parent/guardian an electrocardiograms (EKG) and if warranted an echocardiogram. The EKG reads the heartbeat and the echo captures an image of the heart. The process is completely painless and non-invasive (no needles or x-ray exposure). Baseline youth heart screening can help detect approximately 60% of the heart conditions that can lead to SCA. The tests take less than 20 minutes. Thousands of young people die each year. These kids may have been saved with heart screening. The first step in prevention is detection.
If you are interested in having a Heart Screening at your school please contact Monique Bradley dariusjonesfoundation@gmail.com

Monique Bradley August 28, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Please contact me directly at http://www.dariusjonesfoundation,org or dariusjonesfoundation@gmail.com to discuss future collaboration efforts. We are seeking to expand our reach to be able to provide heart screenings to all schools – private and public. We look forward to meeting community needs by providing this FREE service. We need your help! Lets STAY CONNECTED!

Thank you for your feedback.

Silva August 28, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Wow. Somewhat unrelated, but my adopted nephew (no known family medical history) had a massive heart attack a few days ago while playing soccer, and he’s just thirty years old. I heard he did complain of pain in his chest a couple of times in a few days prior, but I don’t know to whom. I think if you have that sort of warning you are supposed to e

Silva August 28, 2015 at 12:12 PM

…report to a doctor right away. He seems to be recuperating well after getting a stint, but at first they didn’t know if he was going to still be here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: