Autopsy shows cross country runner had abnormal valve

KATY, Texas – A 16-year-old cross country runner who died after collapsing on a school track was born with an abnormal valve that caused severe narrowing of the heart’s main artery, autopsy results show.

Autopsy results released Friday show that Jhonathan Bruda, who collapsed Oct. 6, had aortic stenosis.

In some cases, exercise can lead to an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen to the heart of people with the disorder. That causes the heart to go into fibrillation, in which the heart can’t pump blood unless it is shocked back into normalcy, said cardiologist Jose Joglar, an expert in sudden cardiac death in athletes at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Fibrillation can be reversed with an automated external defibrillator, which delivers a jolt of electricity.

Officials in the suburban Houston district said that the two coaches on the scene the day Bruda collapsed did not have keys to the Taylor High School trainer’s room where a defibrillator was stored.

The University Interscholastic League this week voted to require each of its nearly 1,300 member high schools to have an automated external defibrillator on its campus by Aug. 1.

The condition described in Bruda’s autopsy report is usually diagnosed early in life as a heart murmur, Joglar said.

Juan Bruda said Friday night that his son had been healthy and had never been diagnosed with a murmur.

School officials said the teen passed a physical examination by a private physician and completed a medical history questionnaire.

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