Local News

Anniversary of Student's Tragic Death Keeps Heart Awareness in the Spotlight

(New Carlisle, IN) - Four years ago today Mark Mayfield, a senior at New Prairie, collapsed in a school hallway after an intramural basketball game and died.


Despite outward signs of good health, Mayfield suffered a sudden heart attack. A baseball player and avid Chicago Cubs fan,  Mayfield will be remembered at his alma mater this week.  On Monday and Tuesday, New Prairie will fly the Cubs flag in Mayfield’s memory. Students and staff will wear Cubs gear.


Julie West-Schroeder was the guest on 96.7 the Eagle’s Sound Off on Friday. Like Mark Mayfield, her son Jake also died from an undiagnosed heart condition in 2013.  Ever since, she has been advocating for more heart screening, especially for young people. “We have so many kids collapsing and dying due to undetected heart conditions,” she says.  “We need to be doing more. The numbers are there; we see it, so why aren’t we doing more?”


West-Schroeder suggests getting kids tested for heart problems around age twelve, although she says some experts are starting to recommend heart screenings much younger. “The risk is real; the solution is simple,” she says. “Get your children screened, because we don’t know what our children's hearts looks like unless we get a screening.”


This week, West-Schroeder, helped introduce a bill at the statehouse to spread awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in schools and increase heart testing for students.

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