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Doctors say heart condition caused Eastview hockey player's death; funeral Friday


Funeral details for the Eastview hockey player who died Friday have been announced, this comes as the Ramsey County medical examiner confirmed 14-year-old Patrick Schoonover died as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition.

The office, which handles death investigations for Crow Wing County where Schoonover died, reported its initial findings to the Brainerd Police Department, according to the Star Tribune.

According to a post on the Eastview Hockey Association website from Dr. Jay Traverse, Patrick Schoonover was born with several, likely related cardiac abnormalities.

"His aortic valve had only two leaflets as opposed to the normal three leaflets and is called a bicuspid aortic valve. This is a common cardiac abnormality that can frequently develop into a valve that becomes very narrowed (aortic stenosis) or a valve that becomes very leaky (aortic regurgitation) that often requires surgery later on in life to repair. The bicuspid aortic valve is also very often associated with an enlargement of the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. In addition, Patrick was born with a "kink" or narrowing in the aorta called "coarctation" that usually is located just after the take-off of the artery branch that goes to the left arm (subclavian artery). The combination of the abnormal aortic valve and coarctation of the aorta is associated with a progressive enlargement of the ascending aorta after it leaves the heart."

According to KSTP, in Schoonover's case the conditions combined to cause a rupture.

Schoonover was an eighth grader at Black Hawk Middle School in Eagan. He was a member of the Eastview Bantam AA team and was playing in the Battle for the Blue Ox hockey tournament in Brainerd Friday when he collapsed on the ice. Paramedics attempted to revive him, but he died at a local hospital a short time later.

Schoonover's death sent the entire State of Hockey into mourning.

The family originally thought a head or neck injury from a hit he took in the game might be responsible, but they learned that wasn't the case. The family was not aware that Patrick had a heart condition.

WCCO reports Schoonover's family said he never complained of chest pains and nothing ever showed up in any physicals.

"The problems themselves are often silent until they are unfortunately uncovered in an event like this," Dr. Christopher Carter told WCCO.

But he notes there are a few things they can be watching for.

"Being more short of breath for the activity, chest pains with exertion, pre-fainting symptoms or fainting during or related to activity are big red flags," said Carter to KSTP.

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Carter says while the conditions are rare, he advises parents if they have concerns to have them checked.

Funeral details

Patrick's family released details about his memorial service Monday. A visitation is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley. A visitation is also planned for 10 a.m. Friday, prior to the 11 a.m. services at the church, his obituary on the Henry W. Anderson Mortuary website said.

A burial will follow at Acacia Park Cemetery in Mendota Heights.

Patrick is survived by his father, Michael, his mother Gayle, his brother Matthew and his sisters, Abby and Anna.

"His swag was as strong as his legendary slap shot," his obituary said.

It continued:

"He brightened locker rooms and played with unbridled passion all the while wearing his patented smile. He made a difference. Patrick's stories were bigger than life and his engaging sense of humor made all of us laugh. He knew how to enjoy life to the fullest and helped us do the same. Patrick was the spark that lit up the room."

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