Patrick Garcia

Patrick Garcia (2019)

“I thank God for your screening. You saved my son’s life! He was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White the day before football practice. We got to see a cardiologist and had a catheter ablation done that cured him. Thank God for AugustHeart!”

– John Garcia (Patrick’s Father)

“Patrick had a routine sports physical at Central Catholic this year. AugustHeart performed an electrocardiogram (ECG) and found that Patrick had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW). We were notified on July 31st by his coach at Central Catholic that he was not cleared for football and needed to have a full evaluation by a cardiologist. We quickly made an appointment with a cardiologist the next day and an ECG and stress test were performed. Although the stress test was normal, the cardiologist confirmed that Patrick’s ECG showed WPW. We were referred to a Cardiac Electrophysiologist, and he recommended that Patrick have a catheter ablation which was performed on August 9th as an outpatient procedure. In less than a month after finding out about Patrick’s abnormal ECG, he has been cleared by his Cardiologist and no longer has WPW. Patrick never had any symptoms like weakness, nausea, rapid heart rate, etc., so we are very grateful for AugustHeart and the great work they do for our athletes.”

– Connie Garcia (Patrick’s Mother)

Marco Nilsson

Marco Nilsson (2018)

“After our screening at AugustHeart, based on Marco’s abnormal results, we saw a Pediatric Cardiologist and he confirmed Marco has an aortic root enlargement, but no need for alarm at this time. He was cleared to play tennis and has shown no symptoms. We go back in 6 months to check on his heart and if all is well, he will go yearly. I personally wanted to thank you all for your help that day when we got his results. I was so nervous and scared, just trying to “keep it together”. The way AugustHeart guided, explained, and helped us set up the appointment was such a blessing. I told friends and family that AugustHeart was a guardian angel. I am so grateful for the help and work that AugustHeart is doing for our children.”

– Marni Nilsson

Jesse Solis

Jesse Solis (2018)

“AugustHeart has been providing heart screenings for Northside ISD student athletes since 2013. Our relationship has grown in respect and admiration for this wonderful organization annually. Each year, AugustHeart and Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio perform heart screenings and physical exams for approximately 1500-2000 student athletes hosted by Stevens High School. This year was special because the AugustHeart screening discovered a life-threatening heart condition with one of our athletes. The heart condition was unbeknownst to him, his family, and the sports medicine staff, as well as his primary care physician. With help from AugustHeart and the physicians working with them, our athlete, Jesse has been recovering this fall with a much-anticipated safe return to play by the end of the year. Stevens High School as well as other NISD schools have had athletes in years past diagnosed with unknown heart conditions. As a parent and Athletic Trainer for NISD students, it’s comforting to know our district has a positive relationship with such a lifesaving organization as AugustHeart. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with AugustHeart in the future to ensure the lives of our children.”

– Tim Kloewer, Athletic Trainer at Stevens High School

Kyonte Holder

Kyonte Holder (2018)

“My parents and I are thankful that Judson ISD included AugustHeart as part of their physical well-being for sports players. During my physical examination, I had an abnormal reading on my heart that I may not have known about otherwise since I had no symptoms. AugustHeart ensured that I received additional testing (which included an echocardiogram) and followed up with us. We were able to ask questions, which helped us understand more about my heart. We felt comfortable and trusted the process. We are blessed that this heart abnormality that I have was detected early, and that I am ok and cleared to play basketball, the game I love so much, with no worries. Amen!”

– Kyonte Holder

Allen Blair

Allen Blair (2018)

“I want to share my experience with AugustHeart which led me to want to volunteer. My wife had set-up an appointment for my son to attend a screening. I was waiting with other parents for my son to finish up so that we could leave. I didn’t have any concern and never thought that anything would be wrong with my son’s heart. There were 8 boys in front of my son because he was number 9. As parents were waiting near the exit door, a few of the volunteers/staff members came out and called a few parents back. I then realized, and so did a few other parents, that the tests for their kids probably revealed some concerning heart information. The reality then set in that if these boys had not attended this screening, there is a possibility that they could have been participating in a sports activity and had heart complications that could have killed them. As a parent, I would rather deal with knowing about a heart condition rather than dealing with the unexpected death of my son playing a sport. At that moment it became very obvious how important this free service is that AugustHeart is providing for our kids. This experience led me to want to volunteer. I’m glad to say that my son’s results were normal. THANK YOU to everyone at AugustHeart!”

– Allen Blair

Tammie Patina and Tricia Brokaw

Tammie Patina and Tricia Brokaw (2017)

“We became aware of AugustHeart at its inception, but it was a couple of years later that my sister and I began to volunteer for the organization. As mothers of student athletes, we are all too familiar with the importance of cardiac screening from similar and different perspectives. We are not only parents of athletes, but I am an athletic administrator at a private school, and my sister is a registered nurse for a cardiac unit. Most cardiac diseases have no warning signs, so preventative screenings are important. Our first time to volunteer, our student assistant was a football athlete from a local public high school. We later learned he screened positive at an AugustHeart event, then received treatment and continues to play sports. We are proud to be associated with such an important organization and will continue to volunteer our time and services.”

– Tammie Patino, Athletic Operations Administrator, Saint Mary’s Hall
– Tricia Brokaw, RN Telemetry Unit, San Antonio Military Medical Center

Hunter Fleming

Hunter Fleming (2017)

“AugustHeart provided free heart screenings at our high school during spring physicals. I had never experienced any symptoms but thought it would be a good idea to do the heart screening anyway. As it turned out, I had an abnormal electrocardiogram. The staff at AugustHeart immediately set up an appointment with a cardiologist who diagnosed me with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Being asymptomatic, I now know the warning signs to be aware of and will routinely be examined by a cardiologist to monitor my condition. Without AugustHeart I may not have found out about my condition until too late.”

– Hunter Fleming

William T. Campbell MD FACC (2017)

“As a Sports Cardiologist, new to the San Antonio area, it is a privilege for me to support the AugustHeart screening program. Participation represents a great occasion to give back, but more importantly, it affords me the opportunity to make a direct contribution to the health and well-being of high school students. AugustHeart is highly unique and ahead of the time, I am not aware of any other community with such an efficient and extensive screening program. AugustHeart is a clear sign that San Antonio has a superior commitment to address the catastrophe of cardiac events in youth, both on and off the playing field. The benefits of these screenings go far beyond the individual students to penetrate into the community.”

– William T. Campbell MD FACC
Associate Professor of Medicine – Division of Cardiology
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Evelyn Pereira (2017)

“It was the end of the day, and AugustHeart was packing up from a campus heart screening. The very last student screened had an abnormal ECG and received an echocardiogram to measure the dimensions of his heart wall. Preliminary diagnosis was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and was confirmed the following week. The challenges ahead will be balancing a modified lifestyle under the care of a pediatric cardiologist. The AugustHeart screening saved his life.”

– Evelyn Pereira
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Bruce McCrary

Bruce McCrary (2017)

“My experience with AugustHeart began in early 2017 when San Antonio ISD hosted a citywide screening for teens at Alamo Stadium. Soon after, we partnered with AugustHeart and Sports Medicine Associates to provide our athletes an athletic physical and heart screening during school. We screened 545 athletes and identified a life-threatening heart condition that probably saved a student’s life. The cardiologist at the event even took the time to call the parent and explain the results. AugustHeart worked with the parents to get an immediate appointment for further evaluation. In August, SAISD opened its doors to another screening for San Antonio area teens. The staff and volunteers at AugustHeart did an excellent job of organizing and running the event. SAISD will do heart screenings on our athletes in the future, and I look forward to our continued relationship with AugustHeart.”

– Bruce McCrary
Assistant Athletic Director, San Antonio ISD

Nandish K. Thukral, MD

Nandish K. Thukral, MD (2016)

“As a father myself, I can see my son in each of the young men we screen at our events and I can see the relief on the faces of the parents who accompany them. Often, we overlook that cardiac problems can affect children as well as adults. Sudden cardiac death is always a devastating event but particularly tragic in youth. AugustHeart is dedicated to protecting young people by providing heart screening services to identify life-threatening cardiac conditions at no cost. By volunteering my time and expertise at AugustHeart screenings it provides me the opportunity to not only give back to the community but also hopefully prevent a heartbreaking event in our most vulnerable individuals.”

– Nandish K. Thukral, MD
Cardiology Clinic of San Antonio

Hannah and Peter Wagner

Hannah and Peter Wagner (2016)

“Thanks to AugustHeart, we have one less thing to worry about. We had the opportunity to add heart screenings to our spring physicals this year. As an Athletic Director, this seemed excessive. However, I learned firsthand that heart screenings save lives – my own daughter’s life! Hannah’s electrocardiogram was abnormal, and after speaking to the staff at AugustHeart, I realized it was serious and if not treated she could die suddenly. That was scary! AugustHeart helped get Hannah an appointment for a full evaluation with a pediatric cardiologist. She had a non-invasive surgery to take care of her condition and was back to sports when school started. I have a new respect and appreciation for the free heart screenings we offer all of our student athletes.”

– Peter Wagner
Athletic Director, Southwest ISD

Luke Pilgrim

Lisa, Luke and George Pilgrim (2016)

“Lisa & George Pilgrim have huge hearts for AugustHeart. After George underwent surgery to repair a hole in his heart, Luke’s parents were very anxious to know if their son was living with the same condition. After hearing that AugustHeart was having a heart screening for teenagers nearby, Lisa registered Luke to be screened. At the screening, Luke was found to indeed have a unique heart, an extra vein from birth. Since AugustHeart works so closely with the pediatric cardiology groups in San Antonio, an immediate appointment was secured for Luke to get a more thorough evaluation and give the whole family peace of mind. We just wanted to find out if Luke was okay—either way it was going to be a gift of knowledge.”

– Lisa Pilgrim, Mother of Luke

Elizabeth Kraft

Elizabeth Kraft (2016)

“I learned about AugustHeart after a very close friend of mine suddenly passed away due to an enlarged heart. Immediately following his death, I discovered that sudden cardiac arrest in teens is more common than I thought. The scariest part to me was that, just like my friend, you could have no warning signs or symptoms and have no clue something is wrong with your heart. Volunteering for AugustHeart gives me the opportunity to help prevent the loss of other teenagers that have so much of life ahead of them. AugustHeart is very special to me, and I will continue to volunteer in the future. It gives me a real sense of relief to see teens leave an AugustHeart screening knowing the condition of their heart.”

– Elizabeth Kraft, Volunteer

David and Diana Schmidt

David and Diana Schmidt (2016)

“Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio’s (SMASA) mission is to be the preeminent provider of medical and surgical care to all athletes and active individuals. We have been partnering with AugustHeart since 2013 to provide the most comprehensive pre-participation physical available to the athletes of San Antonio and South Texas. Since heart screenings are not offered as part of a normal physical, working together gives us an opportunity to protect our athletes by identifying cardiac problems that might otherwise go undetected. SMASA has been extremely pleased with our collaboration with AugustHeart.”

– David R. Schmidt, MD
Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio

Caroline Kelleher

Caroline Kelleher (2015)

“We were aware of AugustHeart and its great work for years, but never dreamed it would affect our own family as deeply as it has this year. Following a yearly cardiac screening at Alamo Heights High School, our 16-year-old daughter Caroline was told the right ventricle of her heart was enlarged and should follow up with a cardiologist soon. We were naturally surprised by this news, given Caroline was lean and muscular from intense high school and club volleyball training.

After multiple consultations, we learned that Caroline had an undetected birth defect called atrial septal defect (ASD). ASD is a hole in the septal wall separating the top two chambers of the heart. In normal hearts the left side of the heart pumps blood to the body and the right-side pumps blood to the lungs. In Caroline’s case, blood was traveling through the hole and extra blood was being pumped into her lung arteries making her heart and lungs work harder. To complicate matters, her ASD was situated in an unusual location of the septal wall. We were shocked to learn Caroline would need open heart bypass surgery.

After a visit to a cardiac surgery specialist, we were elated to learn Caroline was a candidate for a heart bypass repair technique involving entering the rib cage and collapsing the right lung to gain access to the heart for the repair. We had always known Caroline was very strong emotionally, but it was amazing to witness the depth of her strength. Caroline underwent her surgery on June 18, 2015, and became the youngest patient to undergo this technique at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano.

Thanks to AugustHeart, another young life is on a healthy course before tragedy could strike. We are sorry for the unimaginable loss the Koontz family endured, but forever grateful they followed their hearts and established this organization in August’s memory. We want to pay it forward and promote the AugustHeart mission by encouraging other families to screen their teens — and not just once, but twice if possible.”

– Lisa & Michael Kelleher, Caroline’s parents

Jaden Britton

Jaden Britton (2015)

“Jaden played basketball in 7th and 8th grade and often complained of being tired or lightheaded after practice and games. I dismissed his symptoms, assuming he had not eaten well or simply needed to build endurance to keep up with his teammates. Then, during a game just as he finished a lay-up, he clutched his chest suddenly and said his heart was racing. I thought it was normal for his heart to race since he had just completed a fast break. Later, I researched his symptoms online to learn countless children die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I stumbled upon the AugustHeart website and found they were offering free heart screenings for teens, so I registered Jaden to attend the next screening.

Unlike many other teens at the heart screening that day, Jaden was found to have a highly abnormal ECG and needed a full cardiac evaluation immediately. Shocked and in a daze, the AugustHeart staff guided us to a pediatric cardiologist who confirmed Jaden had Supra Ventricular Tachycardia and was considered high risk for SCA. One month later, Jaden underwent a catheter ablation reducing his chances of recurrence to 10%. He is now active and monitored regularly by his cardiologist.

It never crossed my mind that Jaden had any type of heart condition. He always passed his sports physicals and was found healthy at his well-child checkups. AugustHeart was instrumental in diagnosing this life-threatening heart condition. ECGs are vital in finding these silent killers in our youth. We are forever indebted to AugustHeart for giving our son a new lease on life.”

– Laura Britton, Jaden’s Mom

Alex Shuler

Alex Shuler (2015)

“Alex and I volunteered at an AugustHeart screening. I had no concerns about my son’s heart health and while there, I encouraged Alex to be screened. Next thing I knew, they had discovered a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic root enlargement.

We were advised to have a more formal evaluation and with AugustHeart’s help, an appointment was scheduled for the following week. More formal testing confirmed the same result, but in higher detail — Alex has an aortic aneurysm.

A second opinion from a pediatric cardiologist with a special interest in exercise and sports physiology confirmed the enlargement but consented to letting Alex continue to play sports with limits. Alex will be monitored for this condition the rest of his life and surgery is likely expected in the future. I am grateful for the opportunity we had to volunteer for AugustHeart. I would have continued to assume Alex was fine and never tested his heart. I am so thankful to AugustHeart for all they do to help save lives!”

– Kathryn Shuler, Alex’s mom

Jonathan Gottsman

Jonathan Gottsman (2014)

“On May 8, 2014, AugustHeart came to St. Mary’s Hall to offer free heart screenings. My husband and I signed up both of our kids to be screened. On the day of the screening my son, Jonathan, called to say he did not want to stay after school to get tested because he had an assortment of pressing things to check off his ‘to do’ list. His dad insisted he stay for the screening, knowing it would be a quick test and the results would be fine – it was just a precaution. The next moments of testing forever changed our family’s lives. The cardiologist delivering the message was caring but concerned; Jonathan’s electrocardiogram indicated a possible problem, so for further evaluation an echocardiogram was performed there. After cardiology appointments to seek second and third opinions, the original diagnosis was confirmed; Jonathan had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Jonathan has been a competitive tennis player for years, often complaining of chest pains during activity. Typically, the first sign of HCM is sudden cardiac arrest, with no warning signs. My son
had been seen by a doctor several times but nothing was ever detected and HCM was never mentioned. Looking back now, hours of tennis in the scorching heat could have been fatal for my son. As a professional speaker, I frequently tell my participants “you don’t know what you don’t know” regarding any topic we are discussing. Never has that statement been more true to me!

Without the heart screening AugustHeart offered at St. Mary’s Hall, we would still be in the dark about my son’s diagnosis…or worse. Jonathan’s heart condition is a life sentence, but one that can be lived fruitfully, and successfully, with a modified lifestyle. He is still able to work out, play certain sports, and live a normal life without competitive sports. Yes, it has been an adjustment and is now part of our family story. AugustHeart has been a blessing because before May 8, 2014 “we didn’t know what we didn’t know”. Jonathan is the first diagnosed case of HCM from an AugustHeart screening. HCM is a rare condition. However, it occurred ironically between two families, who are friends, and live just a few miles from one another. What are the chances? And the story continues…I, too, have recently been diagnosed with a mild case of HCM. Without Jonathan’s diagnosis, I would not have been tested, and may have inadvertently put myself at risk. AugustHeart screened Jonathan and indirectly screened me. It’s simple parents, Screen Your Teen! One easy test can save your entire family, in more ways than one!”

– Diane Gottsman, Mother of Jonathan

Jake Stewart

Jake Stewart (2013)

“Football. Baseball. Basketball. Full speed. 110% effort. Why would a young athlete in such great shape need a heart screening? Jake passed every standard physical exam with flying colors, with no outward signs or symptoms of heart problems. He never even gave it a thought. But luckily, Jake has a very caring and smart mom. She heard about the AugustHeart Free Heart Screening Program from a friend and thought, “I just need to check off that box.” The results of the screening stunned everyone from family to coaches. Jake was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson- White syndrome (WPW), a congenital cardiac condition in which there is an abnormal extra electrical pathway of the heart. The condition can lead to episodes of rapid heart rate and if untreated, sudden cardiac failure or death. Within three weeks of the screening, Jake and his family received a complete treatment plan from a cardiologist. He underwent a simple catheter ablation procedure to correct the abnormality and was back in action. “I’m good to go. Everything I was planning to do; I can still look forward to doing.” – Jake

His mother sums up her feelings this way, “I was just trying to be a good mom. If a free service like this is out there, why not take advantage of it? Even after we discovered his condition, we were told he could possibly live his whole life without treatment and be fine, but we weren’t willing to take that chance. I don’t think any parent would. And thanks to AugustHeart, we were able to make that lifesaving choice.”

– Kim Stewart, Jake’s Mother

Terry Gault

Terry Gault (2016)

“Boerne ISD used AugustHeart for the first time on campus in April of 2015. Their screening process is simple and very thorough. We feel that adding this component to our health screening process is significant for the health and safety of our students. A heart abnormality was detected during the screening process on our campus. we were fortunate because the student was not having any symptoms and has since undergone a corrective procedure. the AugustHeart services are valued by many in our community. We hope to continue our relationship with AugustHeart on an annual basis.”

– Terry Gault, Boerne ISD Athletic Trainer

Eliot Young, MD

Eliot Young, MD (2016)

“AugustHeart has been instrumental in helping us screen thousands of high school athletes for potentially fatal heart conditions. Since sudden cardiac death is the number one killer of athletes on the playing field, we need something to help identify athletes at risk. The amazing volunteer effort — from students helping, to parents, to pediatric cardiologists donating their time — is a tribute to the spirit of August Koontz and the Koontz family. I can’t say enough about a group of people so dedicated to try and protect others from such a preventable tragedy! LOVE AugustHeart!”

– Eliot Young, MD
Physician Partner, SMASA Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship