Tampa teen's life possibly saved by sports physical

A 12-year-old basketball player and her family avoided a potentially deadly outcome when her pediatrician suggested an EKG with her school-mandated sports physical. 

Victoria Mull's future, on and off the court, is looking bright. The 12-year-old plays center for the Trinity School for Children.

On December 30, 2015, Victoria underwent a procedure known as cardiac ablation to fix a problem with her heart. She had been diagnosed with a rare condition known as "WPW".

"Now it's almost like a new me going out there," she said.

"WPW, which is Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome," Victoria's dad, Henry Mull explained.  "It is actually an extra electrical pathway between upper chamber and lower chamber of the heart and causes heart to beat in irregular fashion."

But her condition, which was discovered in August 2015, could have gone unnoticed if it weren't for her pediatrician's insistence on an EKG, which is not typically required with a sports physical. 

"It really shocks you… I could've passed out and died," Victoria said.

"Had it not been for our doctor requiring an EKG for sports physicals we wouldn't have found the condition," her dad said.

The American Heart Association says, among a healthy population, EKG's aren't as effective as health screenings because they can produce false-positive or false-negative results. 

According to healthychildren.org, teens have a less than 1 in 250,000 chance of dying from heart failure while playing sports.

Still, Victoria's dad believes other parents can learn from her results.

"Our case, perhaps it saved our daughter's life," he said.