WASKOM, Tx - One player's death and one mother's grief is inspiring change.
Debbie Goyne is scheduled to present a case to the Caddo Parish school board Tuesday night that would require student-athletes to undergo EKG/ECG testing as part of their regular physical routine.
"What I'm hoping they'll do is allow us to go into the schools, and initially, anyone that wants to come have the EKG done for $15 can do that," Goyne said. "I'm hoping their long-range goal would be to include it with physicals. I'm hoping everybody will do that. Nationwide, I'm hoping that's what will happen."
Nationwide, 29 high schools require testing already. Waskom and Elysian Fields have allocated a portion of funds in their athletic budget for mandatory EKG testing in 2013.
"It only takes about four minutes. The longest thing is to hook the leads up to you. It's painless."
The death of a son is painful, however. Her son, Brandon Goyne, passed away suddenly during a baseball practice at LSU Alexandria in January of 2013 from a heart condition called ARVD. The condition is detectable through EKG testing, and in hindsight, $15 would have been small price to pay to save her son's life.
"If I had any inkling that an EKG could find something like that, I would have had both of the boys done."
One of her boys, Derek, witnessed his brothers death. He was his teammate at LSU-A and was on the field when his brother took his last breath.
"I just thought he got hit in the head and knocked out. But I could tell by the way everybody was freaking out that it was more than that," Derek said. "For the price of two fast food meals, you can prevent having to bury your brother, your family member, your teammate."
The NFL requires EKG testing for all players. Only 1 in 2000 student athletes are at risk for sudden cardiac death, but the Goyne family's pain is 100 percent.
"I don't want anybody to have to go through this," Debbie said. "For $15 you can protect your child. As a parent it's a horrible thing. "
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