By Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Monday in mourning.
Back to school for students grieving the loss of classmate and friend: 15-year-old Freshman Running Back Ryan Gillyard.
Monday, school officials with St. Joesph’s Prep tell CBS 3 Eyewitness News Gillyard died doing an upper body exercise with a weighted rope.
CBS 3 Eyewitness News has learned the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is opening their own investigation into the circumstances of Gillyard’s death and the nature of the workout.
It could take several months before officials learn the cause of death, but medical experts call this another opportunity to educate.
“If a parent comes to me and asks me if their child should be screened, I would say yes,” said Cardiologist Dr. David Shipon.
Cardiologist Dr. David Shipon heads Pennsylvania’s Athletic Health Organization. He points to several studies that say preventative care, beyond a simple sports physical, is now crucial.
It starts with screening and history.
“What are their risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest,” he asked. “And if there’s anything there, any warning sign or any historical data — absolutely — that person needs an EKG.”
There is a free screening session for student athletes at the Liacouras Center on May 30th from 8am to 3pm. The session includes a free EKG test for all who attend.