Liberty collaborates with Nick of Time

Tyler Rubenstein, Staff Writer

Foot. Foot. Breath. Breath. The pounding commotion from the stands fills your ears, the drumming of feet on turf a melodious accompaniment. Nothing else is important but you, the ball, and the goal. And then, with pain piercing in your heart, it’s over.

Cardiac arrest among athletes is alarmingly common among teenagers. In America, one high-school aged athlete suffers cardiac arrest every three days — the survival rate of which is around 10% (Nick of Time). The Puget Sound region itself loses three to five kids each year. The worst part: the majority of these incidents are extremely preventable, which is exactly where the Nick of Time Foundation comes into play.

The Nick of Time Foundation was created in the memory of Nicholas Varrenti, a 16-year old student athlete who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in 2004. The foundation operates to prevent similar situations in the future, with a mission of screening every single student in Washington state.

On February 1st, Nick of Time came to Liberty. There was no fee to be screened, although donations are extremely appreciated. In addition to the screening performed, local doctors informed students on the basics of hands-only CPR and AED training, two matters which can be the difference between life and death in emergency situations. 

“If you have a heart condition that isn’t known about, it could be fatal. Nick of Time does a great job in helping prevent this,” Liberty’s Sports Medicine teacher Mort Orren said.

Not only is Nick of Time’s purpose extremely important, they are also very proficient in their logistics, making sure the process is as efficient as possible for them, the school, and the kids.

“They do a tremendous job marshaling a lot of volunteers and giving great screenings to kids,” Principal Andrew Brownson said.

Many students participated in the Nick of Time opportunity at Liberty on February 1st.

“The Nick of Time Heart screening was phenomenal. I am so glad to have this screening for heart issues that could be very serious,” sophomore Jack O’Connell said.

The statement is echoed throughout countless participants.

“It was quick and easy,” sophomore Andrew Kang said.

Overall, the Nick of Time Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to prevent unnecessary teenage deaths. This year, Liberty High School hosted the Youth Heart Screenings. The event just concluded on February 1st, achieving its goal of screening the maximum amount of high school kids possible, and further preventing avoidable fatalities among student athletes.