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Suwanee Student's Death Spurs Mom To Save Lives

The 2007 death of Collins Hill High student Wilson continues to have a positive effect.

Terrell Wilson had been to the Collins Hill High varsity football game, and started feeling nauseous.

His mot\her thought it was the food he had had at the game. But he hit his head on the corner of the sink, so something obviously was wrong.

Tracy Wilson, his mother, called 911, but in this case, the cardiac situation was so severe that nothing could help. Terrell Wilson, age 14, did not survive the attack in 2007.

Turns out that Terrell Wilson, a ninth-grade student at , was a victim of aortic dissection, a condition that also caused the sudden death in 2003 of actor John Ritter.

"It was a total shock," Tracy Wilson recalled recently, five years after her son's death.

What are your memories of Terrell Wilson? Tell us in the comments below.

So the loss of her son has spurred Tracy Wilson to try to prevent similar tragedies. She has started the Terrell Wilson Total Sports Fitness Foundation. The non-profit aims to "secure adequate physicals for our children who are interested in participating in any physical activities."

"It's time to start saving kids' lives," Wilson said.

She notes that now, physicals for high school athletes do not include testing for heart conditions. Her goal is for physicals to include EKGs.

Her efforts are starting to pay off. on her behalf. The PTSA helps organize health fairs at Collins Hill High, and the donation will enable 15 student-athletes to be tested through Heart Screens for Teens. Terrell Wilson was a JV football player at Collins Hill. "He had a lot of heart," his mother recalled.

Wilson also travels to different high schools to spread the word on how important it is to get screened.

Her organization is in the growing stages, she said, and she wants to move it out of her Lawrenceville home and into office space.

The foundation's vision statement says it aims to "have a central location where each child can receive the proper heart screenings and physicals done by an on-site cardiologist and sports medicine physician."

"Do It For Terrell," the literature reads.

Tracy Wilson still remembers her son's last words as she called 911: "I'm OK, mommy."

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KC May 08, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Terrell and my son, Nick, played football ever since we can remember, they were on the Collins Hill High School football team together, and Terrell was such a fun, loving, and team player. Terrell's death came as a shock to my son, the team, the Collins Hill community, and many others. When Tracy began a program called Heart Screen for Teens, we signed Nick up to get checked. Our younger son was beginning 8th grade football, and I asked the nurse if he should come with Nick. She said 'yes, it is for 13 to 18 years old'. Nick's EKG test came back excellent, but our 13 yr old son's came back with a problem, and we were to follow up with a Pediatric Cardiologist. We made that appointment immediately, and we found out that our son has Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease. This is a condition he was born with, and in all the years he has played sports and had physicals this condition was NEVER detected. God Bless Tracy Wilson and her programs for Teens in honor of Terrell. We are forever thankful for her saving our son's life and making us more aware of the heart issues amoung teens.
Steve Burns (Editor) May 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Thanks, KC.
Dani DuBois June 23, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I'll never forget my Godson, he was the greatest kid you could ask for.. RIP lil man.. Mommie will make a difference because of the blessed life God let us borrow for just a lil while! Danielle DuBois-Matthews

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