The board of the Holmdel Football and Cheer Association (HFA) would like to bring to your attention some information surrounding the death of Holmdel High School student and varsity lacrosse player Jack Dowd. On Sunday evening, September 17, 2017, Jack Dowd collapsed and tragically died during a lacrosse game he was actively participating in at Rutgers University. It turns out Jack died from a congenital heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD). ARVD, is a rare heart condition that can affect women and men of all races and at all levels of health. Although statistics indicate the condition affects younger people, especially younger athletes, the cause of ARVD is unknown and can be inherited. The condition appears in one in every 5,000 people and often goes undetected.
Cardiovascular screening in athletes is routinely practiced and endorsed by most major sporting and medical associations including the American Heart Association (AHA), European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A substantial challenge to screening is that most apparently healthy individuals with unsuspected cardiovascular disease are asymptomatic, and sudden cardiac arrest is the first clinical manifestation of cardiac disease in athletes who suffer sudden death.
Members of the HFA Board, in a constant effort to keep the children of Holmdel healthy and safe, have reached out to members of the Deborah Hospital Foundation to inquire about what we can do as an organization to proactively keep our children safe. Deborah is a cardiac and pulmonary specialty hospital located in Browns Mills, New Jersey, with expertise in all forms of cardiac, vascular and pulmonary diseases, to include congenital and acquired heart defects in adults and children. Individuals at Deborah have informed us that they will be holding a sudden cardiac arrest screening on October 21, 2017 from 9am to 2pm at Hightstown High School Gym in Hightstown, New Jersey. Pre-registration is required. Please see the banner below with details and the attached link to register.
The Holmdel Football Association realizes that a large number of our football players and cheer participants fall out of the age parameters set forth in this screening, however we feel this is such an important issue that you should, at the very least, be aware of it.