Free heart screening saved Hilmar student athlete's life

HILMAR, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was a rainy day that saved Jason Pimentel's life. The Hilmar High School sophomore was supposed to play in a baseball game that day.

The game was rained out, and instead, he decided to take advantage of a free heart screening the high school was hosting.

"I was like there's no point in me going. I'm perfectly fine. They won't find anything wrong with me," Jason said.

"I just went into it thinking yeah this is a cool thing to do let's check it out, never knowing my son would be one that they found something so severe in," Jason's mother, Tiffany, explained.

Jason was one of 350 students screened that day; that's when they discovered he had a severe heart condition.

"I was shocked because I didn't have any symptoms. I was like, wow, this is crazy like I have something wrong with my heart," the teen said.

Jason and his family found a cardiologist, and a year later, Jason decided to have heart surgery.

"I just said I have to do this for my future. We ended up going and getting the surgery done. I was a little nervous," he said.

After a year of recovery, Jason is back on the field and healthy and wants others to be the same.

"Who knows what the outcome would have been? It's very scary to think about the possibilities that could have happened," Tiffany said.

Hilmar High School is offering free heart screenings Sunday from 9:30 am to 11:30 am for anyone between the ages of 12-25.

"When I got an email that an organization did something like this, it was like a no brainer for us," said Michelle Komos, a district nurse. "We could save Jason; our goal is to save another student."

The screening is free, and there are still slots available.
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