Monday, April 22, 2013
“GO BIG OR GO HOME” - Cody Stephens 1994-2012
The Tarleton State University family honors those that have passed away within the past year at an annual ceremony known as Silver Taps. Amongst the several Texans honored was 18year old Cody Stephens who was recruited to play football for the Tarleton Texans. Cody was a 6’9” 300 lb. offensive lineman from Crosby High School; he passed away in his sleep May 2012 of hypercardiomyopathy, a disease in which the myocardium becomes hypertrophied making it difficult for the heart to pump blood. Cody’s death weighed heavily on the hearts of the Tarleton Football family.
While Stephen’s condition was undetected, an Echocardiogram could have diagnosed the problem thereby allowing medical personnel to prescribe the remedy which might have saved his life. At Tarleton, athletes are required to take pre-season physicals that include screening for Sickle Cell, pre- and post-concussion,, and echocardiogram (EKG) stress tests. If Cody could have live long enough to make it to the campus pre-season physicals, his heart condition could have been detected.
Why is an EKG stress test NOT mandated for all pre-season physical exams at all level of play? The Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) which governs high school sports mandates the same physical that has been used for decades in sports. With advances in medicine and technology, why hasn’t the UIL updated its screen procedures?
Scott Stephens, Cody’s father, has begun the “Go Big or Go Home” foundation to generate awareness of these heart conditions and is campaigning for the UIL to make heart screenings a routine part of physicals. The Stephens family has endured a great deal of sorrow in the loss of this magnanimous young man. Please consider supporting this campaign to generate new policies for Texas High School athletes!.
For more information on the “Go Big or Go Home” foundation visit http://jogthejourney.com/Home.php or http://codystephensfoundation.org/