West Aurora High students check heart health

Only a few days before Valentine's Day, the students at West Aurora High School lined up in the field house Thursday to have their hearts tested.

More than 2,000 students registered to have an electrocardiogram administered by volunteers for Young Hearts for Life.

Meghan Hill of YH4L was enthusiastic about the turnout.

"If we save one kid out of all of this, it is completely worth it," she said.

Approximately 240 volunteers helped usher the students through the various stages of the process.

Rashann Ford, 17, a senior, was excited to have the test done. "They are really saving lives here," he said.

The YH4L screening program was founded in 2006 by Dr. Joseph Marek.

"It's a lot like reading facial expressions," Marek said while talking about reading the thousands of ECG results. "You just know what to look for."

Marek said that about 1 percent of the kids tested will need to have follow-ups.

To date, more than 1,900 students screened through YH4L have been identified as "at risk." Of those, hundreds were found to have life threatening conditions.

  Dr. Joseph Marek says that reading electrocardiograms are like looking at facial expressions. More than 2,000 students were to have their hearts tested Thursday and Friday at West Aurora High School during the Young Hearts for Life program. Brian Hill/
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