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European Soccer Star Cleared for Play
After Evaluation by Experts at Texas Heart Institute  
Dutch Player Hedwiges Maduro Midfielder for Spanish Team, FC Sevilla

European soccer star Hedwiges Maduro and THI Dr. Paolo Angelini
Dr. Paolo Angelini and Hedwiges Maduro

Houston, Texas (August 10, 2012) – European soccer star Hedwiges Maduro has been cleared to resume play for the Spanish team, FC Sevilla, after an extensive evaluation by physicians at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

Watch the story on YouTube [in English and Spanish]:

Soccer Star Hedwiges Maduro Cleared for Play After Evaluation by Experts at Texas Heart Institute      

El Texas Heart Institute confirma que Maduro es apto para la práctica del fútbol      

The 27-year-old elite Dutch midfielder, was recently diagnosed with a type of rare congenital coronary artery anomaly that can be associated with sudden cardiac death and team doctors restricted him from play, pending further evaluation. Maduro had only joined FC Sevilla two months ago after four years playing at Valencia. He also played for the Dutch national team.

Maduro underwent a battery of extensive testing this week at THI, under the direction of cardiologist Paolo Angelini, MD, one of the world's leading experts in the field and director of THI's Center for Coronary Artery Anomalies (CCAA).

"Mr. Maduro responded well to the tests and we believe that, with proper vigilance, he can resume play at the highest level," said Dr. Angelini. "His doctors will watch him carefully, but he should be able to resume play in two or three weeks."

Angelini said Maduro has a congenital condition related to the early development of his coronary arteries. To be cautious, physicians fitted Maduro with a long-term, implantable EKG (electrocardiogram) monitor, It should not affect his ability to play following a brief recovery period, said Dr. Angelini. If all goes well, the device can later be removed, he added.

"We salute FC Sevilla for exercising every caution," said Dr. James T. Willerson, THI's President and Medical Director. "Too often, these kinds of conditions go undiagnosed and can lead to sudden, tragic death in young people, particularly athletes. We're glad to be able to support Mr. Maduro."    

"We made the decision to come to Houston because I think the best doctors in the world to help me with this problem are here," said Maduro. "I am really happy that I can play soccer again with my teammates and grateful to all the doctors and nurses who helped me. It was really a great experience."

The CCAA is currently conducting an unprecedented study of such conditions in young people that includes free screenings of 10,000 middle school students in the Houston Independent School District and surrounding areas. With support from private donors, including Houston's Kinder Foundation, almost 3,000 students have been screened to date.  Preliminary data from that study show that a number of students have been found with previously undiagnosed heart anomalies, and some with conditions not related to their heart.  

The testing, which involves electrocardiogram (EKG) and  magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology in THI's Mobile Imaging Unit, takes place on school campuses and other locations. Learn more at the Center for Coronary Artery Anomalies.

For media inquiries please contact:
Director of Public Affairs
Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Frank Michel  ♦  832-355-9510  ♦ 

For THI and St. Luke's media profiles, see Public Affairs.

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