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Family holds heart screenings after 14-year-old dies

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BATON ROUGE - The family of a teen who died suddenly from cardiac arrest last year has taken it upon themselves to try to prevent another unexpected death.

Burke Cobb died at the age of 14 in the Dutchtown High School gym after football practice. His death is still fresh in the minds of his family.

"For him to die from something like this without ever having a symptom was just shocking," said Burke's aunt Kristen Simpson.

Now Burke's family runs Living4Burke, a non-profit foundation dedicated to screening young athletes at a fraction of the typical cost. Depending on the child, heart screening can cost hundreds of dollars. But today parents paid a little over one hundred dollars. Screenings include an echocardiogram, an EKG and a blood pressure test. Parents say they're grateful.

"I'm getting tears in my eyes thinking about it, because for them to reach out in their time of grief and everything to help others it's just incredible," said Darla Hartley.

Nearly 500 student athletes have been screened through Living4Burke. Today 50 were screened. After being screened each child took a picture with a sign that said "I'm living for Burke."

"Of course we miss Burke terribly every day, but this is the way that we feel close to him and we feel like this is what he would've wanted. It's through the loss of his life that we can use that to save other lives, so instead of just grieving we're actually making a difference so that other families don't have to go through that," said Simpson.

The parents will receive their child's screening results in the mail in a couple of weeks. You can sign up to volunteer with Living4Burke or donate at Living4Burke.org.

 

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