Cardiovascular testing performed by Wimbledon Athletics on campus at GSU detected Jordan’s abnormally weak heart—a condition called cardiomyopathy
Mrs. D’Andrea Powell Dorsey doesn’t understand why cardiac testing for student athletes is not mandated.
For two years, her son Jordan Powell has been playing football for Grambling State University. He has exhibited no symptoms and has passed all of his physicals; yet, cardiovascular testing performed by Wimbledon Athletics on campus at GSU is what identified Jordan’s abnormally weak heart—a condition called cardiomyopathy.
“There is a lot of concern over concussions in football and laws have been put in place for that, but what about the heart? That is just as important,” states Mrs. Powell Dorsey. “Without this testing, we wouldn’t have known about Jordan’s condition until it was too late.”
And she is probably right. According to Bradley J. Artel, MD, FACC, FASE, Chief Medical Officer at Wimbledon Health Partners, there is a good chance Jordan’s cardiomyopathy would have progressed to heart failure over a period of several months, or he could have experienced sudden cardiac death from a malignant arrhythmia, even before any symptoms developed. And that does not sit well with Jordan’s mother, who now believes cardiac testing should be mandatory for high school and college athletes.
“It is extremely important that these athletes have their hearts thoroughly checked,” says Mrs. Powell Dorsey. “Mothers, coaches, athletic trainers need to understand that we can lose our children! Having the option to address an issue detected through a heart exam is a blessing, and I’m extremely grateful to Wimbledon Athletics and Grambling for making sure my son got tested.”
Jordan’s EKG was normal, but an echocardiogram was able to detect his condition. Upon learning her son’s diagnosis from Wimbledon Health Partners, Mrs. Powell Dorsey took her son to a local cardiologist, who prescribed two medications, Lisinopril and Coreg, which may help Jordan’s heart get stronger. Until that time, he is sidelined from football but is expected to be back on the field with his team by the start of the season. Mrs. Powell Dorsey explains that Jordan had been nonchalant about his diagnosis at first, but as soon as he sensed the seriousness of his condition while meeting with the cardiologist, it really hit home for him. She says her son is taking it all in stride; he loves football but understands his health is more important.
It is not known how Jordan’s cardiomyopathy came about; it could have developed from a viral infection he had when he was eleven years old. The important thing is that it was detected before anything happened to Jordan.
Dr. Artel states, “This is another case where the pre-participation physical evaluation failed to identify a serious cardiac issue in a young athlete. And it was not an EKG that was able to pick this up, but our echocardiography testing, Now, even if Jordan’s heart gets weaker, it will be identified, and he will go on to receive whatever he needs to prevent sudden cardiac death.”
And that is something Jordan’s mom can get behind. Jordan has a bright future ahead of him, majoring in biology and pre-med with a near perfect G.P.A., and Mrs. Powell Dorsey looks forward to seeing him graduate and following his dreams. Thanks to the partnership between Grambling and Wimbledon Athletics to proactively test student athletes for cardiac abnormalities, that is now possible.