Robotic heart surgery saves the life of teenage athlete

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Camden Thrailkill

Ever since he can remember, 15-year-old Camden Thrailkill has been passionate about baseball and football.

The high school freshman from Lantana spends his days outside of the classroom honing his athletic skills as a member of Guyer High School’s football and baseball teams. Year-round, the athlete dedicates endless hours to working out.

It’s the never-ending commitment to the game that keeps Camden focused on his dreams: to play at the collegiate level.

It’s that same dedication and love for the game that also saved his life.

“Outside of the flu, or a cold, I’ve never been ill,” said Camden, the youngest of two children.

But a routine heart screening organized through his football team in August 2016 at The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton revealed he had an isolated cleft of the mitral valve, a rare, yet serious congenital heart defect.

For Camden and his family, the news left them in complete disbelief.

“Not only was he symptom-free and always healthy, but he was born with this heart defect and it went undetected his entire life,” said his mother, Liz.

To add to the shock of it all, Camden’s family was told he would need a life-saving heart surgery immediately to repair his mitral valve.

Despite the frightening diagnosis, the Thrailkills believe the simple, non-invasive heart screening was a blessing in disguise.  Read more here.

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