Senior Josh Boatright collapsed during a Legend High School preseason workout in July. He recovered, and following a team meeting, approached Titans athletic trainer Piper Thompson because his heart was still beating fast.
Thompson suspected …
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Thompson suspected something was wrong. She called Boatright’s parents and said their son needed to be referred for treatment.
Four days later, Boatright underwent heart surgery after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare condition caused by an extra path between the heart’s upper and lower chambers that causes the heart to beat rapidly.
During the follow-up appointment, LeAnne Boatright said, the cardiologist “looked at my son and said, “You need to thank your athletic trainer because she saved your life. After reviewing all the scans and all the tests we did on you, you had maybe one or two more practices and you would have been dead.’ He said that’s how serious his heart was.”
Thompson, a graduate of Douglas County High School, has been the head trainer at Legend since 2008. She has a bachelor’s in sports and exercise science from the University of Northern Colorado. She will be honored for her life-saving actions at the Oct. 20 Douglas County school board meeting.
At the summer workout, Thompson knew it was time to suggest Boatright consult an expert.
“His heart was racing real bad and (he) felt like it was beating out of his chest. Something wasn’t right,” she said. “We recognized it, got help and referred him to whom we had to refer him to.”
The 6-foot-1, 288-pound Boatright, who has moved from center to defensive line this season, is on heart medication. He has additional surgery scheduled after the season.
“The surgery was supposed to be an hour, two hours tops,” recalled LeAnne. “My son was on the table for seven hours. His heart started swelling so they had to stop the procedure. So we go back in December, clean everything up and finish up the last 60 percent.”
Boatright said he feels fortunate to be playing football.
“I’m glad Piper was there,” he said. “I’m very blessed.”
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