Foundation Named After Oklahoma Athlete Saves Lives Of Others
TULSA, Oklahoma - Athletes at one Tulsa high school will put their hearts to the test in a screening that could save their lives.
Inspired by the life of Chase Morris, the foundation that bears his name now provides heart screenings to young athletes, and it's already paying off.
The screenings Wednesday at Booker T. Washington will be the second set of tests provided by the Chase Morris Foundation.
Chase had an enlarged heart, but never knew it. He died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2013.
Today, his heart lives on, and his foundation is allowing fellow athletes to game-plan in a way Chase never could.
Baseball is a way of life for 15-year-old Foster Roy, always has been.
“Go to the big leagues,” Foster said. “It's been my dream since I was four. Always go to the big leagues.”
From all outward appearances, Foster is a perfectly healthy Metro Christian sophomore with the typical interests of a teenaged boy.
“Play ball, chase girls, all the normal stuff,” he said with a laugh.
So when the Chase Morris Foundation's youth heart screening came to his school last semester, Foster was resistant.
“I say, 'I don't need to do it, I'm perfectly healthy,'” he said.
His parents had the final say, so Foster was tested, along with 200 other student-athletes. Two came back with abnormalities and Foster was one them.
“I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe, my son, they found something,” said Foster's mother, Jill Roy.
Foster was diagnosed with a potentially-deadly heart condition that can trigger a rapid heart rate during exercise or stressful situations.
He went in for heart surgery but surgeons couldn't operate and his parents said medication would make it worse.
Knowledge is power, however, and doctors have cleared Foster to continue to put his heart into the sport he loves.
“I don't like to think about, I mean, I'm sort of worried, but I'm not necessarily, 'Hey I could die at any moment.' That's not really my thought. My thoughts, 'I'm out here on a baseball field, why not enjoy it,'” he said.
So for now, he will enjoy it while helping to keep a fellow athlete's legacy alive.
“Chase Morris Foundation is what saved our kid,” Jill said.
The screenings start for students Tuesday morning at 9:00. They'll get an EKG exam, an echocardiogram and CPR certification, just to name a few.
All of that would normally cost more than $1,500 apiece, but is free for students who can't afford it and a recommended $20 donation for those who can.