Author: Michaela Gagne Hetzler

Long QT turns athlete into beauty queen

During my senior year of high school, the world as I knew it came crashing down. I’ll never forget that April evening in the year 2000—two years after collapsing at a track finish line—when I was officially diagnosed with Long QT syndrome, an inherited heart condition characterized by an abnormal heartbeat. My mom turned to me with tears streaming down her face, still on the phone with my electrophysiologist, who had just received the results. I was advised to avoid competitive sports.

No more playing basketball until the streetlights came on. No more racing my friends on the track. No more hopes to play Division I soccer. No more dreams coming true—the dreams of the little girl who wanted nothing more than to compete for the rest of her life.

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