Free Hurley health checks save Flushing teen's life - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Free Hurley health checks save Flushing teen's life

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FLUSHING (WJRT) -

(10/28/13) - Almost two years ago, a Mid-Michigan family and hospital began teaming up to provide free heart screenings to athletes. Now, a family who says their son is alive because of the screenings is sharing their story.

A year ago, Collin Towns was a healthy, active member of the Flushing High School Marching Band and swim team - but he was living with a life threatening condition that almost went undetected.

"He had a regular physical to play on sports and be on the swim team and marching band and so he was totally healthy," said Katrina Towns, Collin's mom.

Collin attended a free teen health checks hosted by the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation and Hurley Hospital. At that health check, doctors discovered he had a heart condition that could kill him.

"A membrane covers over the valve and their heart begins to compensate and enlarge and suddenly one day it can't compensate any more and they're just gone," Katrina said.

Collin had open heart surgery and after months of recovery is back to normal activity. Katrina is now forever grateful to Mary and Jon Smith, whose hard work has helped pay for the heart screenings. Their son's life was taken by a similar condition Collin was diagnosed with.

"They're our guardian angels and I'm sorry that it took their pain and their loss to start this but good has come out of this, they're giving back, and Hurley Hospital, I can't thank them enough because they saved my child's life."

There could be more lives to save. The next free heart screening is Nov. 9 at Clio High School.

You must pre-register for the screening. To do so, click HERE.

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