The heart of champions

A day in the life of most high schoolers probably consists of the following things: breakfast, school (the usual subjects), sports practice, work (for some), dinner, and sleep. For two seniors though, that daily routine has to be monitored.
Max Fulbright and Kaleab Wilson both suffer from a heart condition that fails to keep the heart from beating too fast.
Wilson discovered his condition during the sixth grade, but didn’t know that it would come to be serious enough to keep him from athletics.
“I was in a little kids practice and I felt my heart speeding up,” he said. “I sat down for a little bit and it was gone. My parents took me to a cardiologist in Wichita but they said that there was nothing wrong. When I got into high school we went to another cardiologist that told me it was a little more serious than we thought before.”
Fulbright’s story is a little different.
“About two years ago after the Lyons race for cross country I figured out that something wasn’t right. I was getting dizzy and lightheaded,” Fulbright said. “We went to the hospital in Lyons and found out that it was mitral valve prolapse, which means that the valve that is pumping blood in and out is not opening as fast as what it should.”
While death is very unlikely with their conditions, Wilson said that it is still scary to think about.
“Worst-case scenario is usually a blackout,” Fulbright said. “It’s possible that if I don’t stop when my heart gets going too fast I could have a heart attack.”
Doctors have told Fulbright and Wilson to continue living their daily lives, with the exception of exercise and some physical activities.
“They told me that I can basically go along with my day, and when it comes to running I just need to be very careful about it. If my chest starts to hurt I need to stop, but if it feels alright I can keep going,” Fulbright said. “Right now, we are just playing it by ear.”