• Cardiovascular

    In the Loop: Young hoopster with heart condition still on the court

a basketball swooshing through a hoop with bright light in the background
The genetic heart condition that Kaci Arjes was born with was threatening to end her high school basketball playing career … until she and her family came to see Dr. Michael Ackerman at Mayo Clinic.

Last winter, Kaci Arjes was told she’d never play basketball again. Born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that thickens the heart muscle and makes it harder for the heart to pump blood, the then-freshman was told by doctors that her high school basketball career was over before it even had a chance to begin.

Then Kaci and her family came to Mayo Clinic to seek a second opinion from Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist in Mayo’s Long QT Syndrome/Genetic Heart Rhythm Clinic. Dr. Ackerman, the Mason City, Iowa, Globe Gazette reports, “currently treats 250 athletes like Kaci who were told by other doctors that they couldn’t play sports.”

Rather than keep Kaci off the court for fear of what could happen, Dr. Ackerman worked with Kaci and her family to develop a personalized plan that would allow her to continue playing the sport she loves and has played alongside her twin sister since the third grade. Read the rest of the story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.