NORTH LIBERTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The Zac Mago Foundation has been established in memory of its 17-year-old namesake who died in July of 2018 when he took an afternoon nap and tragically didn't wake up.
Zac was an honor student at John Glenn High School and a rising star on the school's basketball team.
He died from cardiopulmonary arrest due to an enlarged heart, and the foundation wants to provide information and preventive heart screenings to stop sudden cardiac arrest in teens.
“Never did I ever think that I would lose a child to something that could be prevented,” Teresa Mago said. “Something that I really didn’t know anything about.”
Zac was the picture of health and showed no symptoms of heart problems, his mom said.
“You look at those photos of him shooting the ball, and that doesn’t look like a child that has a heart condition. He’s the picture of health,” Teresa Mago said.
Symptoms of the disease are sometimes hard to detect, said Dr. Abrar Sayeed from Goshen Heart and Vascular Center.
“Getting really light-headed and dizzy. Those would be some warning signs,” Sayeed said. “Getting shortness of breath disproportionate to the level of activity. But again, not everyone who experiences these symptoms will have this disease, because this disease is a rare entity.”
The Mago family hopes to prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else by providing heart screenings and raising awareness through The Zac Mago Foundation.
The Foundation hosted its first youth heart screening at LaVille High School on May 1, and it is hosting another one at John Glenn from May 20-22.
To donate to the Zac Mago Foundation, or to learn about its upcoming fundraisers, click here .