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Update: Autopsy Results on Young Joanne Wilfred!!

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St. Lucia Sports Online received word that an autopsy was performed on 15-year-old national netball player Joanne Wilfred-Shepard. According to sources close to the situation, the sports enthusiast died as a result of complications of an enlarged heart. Joanne who resides in the sporting community of Canaries complained to other individuals of having pain in her chest last Friday 9th September, 2016.

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The Young Lady was said to have been involved in a routine training session at one of the islands premier sporting institutions. According to sources her teachers at the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School earlier on the day in question, advised her to make her way home to rest. Unfortunately, Joanne never made it home that night. Reports are that the school has mobilized counselors to help with debriefing at the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School.

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As such the conversation has begun. Many are of the opinion that young athletes should be given physicals or more robust medical examinations before entering training programs at schools. The situation does beg the question; how can a national youth player represent her country without proper medical screening at such a tender age? Though these protocols may be costly and death may be considered an aberration, it may be in the best interest of our young athletes to implement a “Joanne Rule”: all athletes who are desirous of getting involved in an intense physical program must undergo a medical screening before the commencement of this training. Yes! This may slow down the commencement of programs, but, is it worth it?

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19 comments

  1. Not too late to say that God knows best

  2. Very sad for the family 🙁 I would like to say,It would be good when reporters get write articles like these that they do a bit of research as well and could give a quick briefing as to what can cause an enlarged heart for instance. Chances are people might not go further and find out, but taking an initiatives like this can help create public awareness. I say this not to be negative though.

    • Chad Thank for your observation. However, we posted an entire article on an “enlarged heart.” This article was written by local doctors from Bon Sante…Check out our health and fitness section of the website. It written in very simple terms…

  3. This is truly a sad story and we all moan along with the family as not just them, but the whole country has also lost a brilliant athlete. Most of us feel very proud when our young people engage in sports and do well and we are proud to have had such an athlete on our national team.
    The autopsy report said that the cause of death was an enlarged heart? What is that? I took the time to do some research in Wikipedia and it turns out an enlarged heart is merely a symptom of some underlying disease. Whatever it was it had to be serious for her to have died from it. From reading the article posted as well as the posts, it is obvious that no one saw this coming. She may have been asymptomatic until that very moment when things took a turn for the worse. Who should be blamed for missing this problem? If Joanne did get to see a doctor before engaging in this sport would this be pick up? …. maybe. The real question has already been asked…. what could we have done to stop it?
    I guess we will never know for sure. But we can do something now to save other children in the future! All our athletes should be screened for cardiac and lung disease before trying out for sports. I also believe that the tests should be carried out regularly as long as the child continues to play sports. Will our government help? They SHOULD because this is after all the NATIONAL TEAM. Out of all the useless things our tax money is wasted on, at least some should go to keeping our young athletes safe!

  4. St Lucia News Online…. Please stop misleading our people by feeding them with wrong information. “The Young Lady was said to have been involved in a routine training session at one of the islands premier sporting institutions. According to sources her teachers at the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School earlier on the day in question, advised her to make her way home to rest. Unfortunately, Joanne never made it home that night” This is all wrong information. Yes she was involved in training at the SCHOOL and she never complained to any TEACHER of her discomfort. And yes she did get to her home…. Which is where she collapsed. Stop trying to make it look like the teachers or the school is responsible for her death. The staff of this school go above and beyond for its students. We don’t take the health of our students lightly. Find out about us. Dessiminate the correct information. Please and thanks

    • Disturbed teacher…If You look at the totality of things you would not say that…you take one statement to say that we are trying to make it seem like the site trying to make teachers look bad? The site that speaks of how great Soufriere Comprehensive is?? Really…so u saying a teacher did not ask her to go home and rest?…the fact that she actually made it home is a small part of this story…why so sensitive…no one has blamed anyone…in fact…this seems to highlight the quality of the school….we are having a big convo on where we take this and u draw to small issues…really?

      • Disturbed teacher…If You look at the totality of things you would not say that…you take one statement to make it seem like teachers are looking bad? So u saying a teacher did not ask her to go home and rest? The article never pointed a finger…chill…the fact that she actually made it home is a small part of this story…we are having a big convo on where we take this and u draw to small issues…really?

  5. Joanne was the a very inspiring student at the school she is the life of the party she has a lot of potential and an academic student as well

  6. Good Discussion…keep them coming guys!!

  7. Also this school insurance fees that the schools collect they need to stop collecting that shit with immediate effect because every time u have to go to St Judes when ur child falls sick at school this insurance claim is always unacceptable by the hospital.. Stop making insurances companies make money on our heads whereby each student in every school has to pay insurance fees which really is of no significance. Gosh where are the laws in St lucia to ensure that if u pay for a service u can what is due to u

  8. As a national athlete I have been touched by this and although I never knew her the comments being made has drawn my attention. Like Dr. George said medical care is expensive and most parents cannot afford it. Half of you, first of all, don’t even know what it’s like to be an elite athlete and don’t even know the expenses that come with it. So don’t make it seem like parents aren’t doing the best that they can. This is not something that parents can do alone. Athletes participate in competitions under the national flag and within school systems and therefore it’s everyone’s responsibility. It takes a community to raise a child.

    • I am an elite athlete and have represent Saint Lucia more than you have Ms. Skye Faucher. Parents should make it their duty to make it a priority. Not every child will be an elite athlete but every child will be participating in physical activities in their class. It should be compulsory to get a medical done. I am not saying that measures should not be placed to make it affordable but we need to find solutions to incidents such as this to safe guard our children, and like you said a community to raise a child.

  9. Anonymous…..while I agree with you…Many lack the finances to conduct such test and like G Anthony says, there should be some incentive for the hard work of our national athletes, whose parents already more often than not have to foot the bill for physiotherapy and other incidentals when athletes have to represent their country.

  10. Medical care is expensive and this is a fact everywhere. While parents are responsible, many have tough choices to make with their limited budgets. Most parents would not even imagine that their active child has any medical condition.
    That said, it is important for the authorities, as part of a general program of raising the profile of young athletes, to provide free or at least subsidised primary and secondary medical care for them. It is unfortunate that when our young and often unemployed athletes get to VH, they have to pay to see the emergency doctor, they have to pay for further visits, for therapy and for medication.
    I think National Athletes in particular, deserve some incentive for their hard work in service of their country. An insurance plan for these athletes might be a way to start.

    • Every child is suppose to have a medical done. Not every child will make a national team but we demand that every child participates in physical education in schools. Children represents their houses and schools in activities. Parents need to make a sacrifice and forego the opportunity cost which is death because they choice not to take their child to the dr.

    • After reading the comments I feel compelled to comment on this interesting discussion albeit to say this is not the proper forum. I understand everyone’s point on this subject, I too have a young son (9) yrs who is a National swimmer and has represented his country on more than one occassion. It is quite interesting to note that I have never heard any talks nor literature distributed to kids/nor parents regarding health guidelines for these atheletes, many times these kids travel overseas for swim meets and never has there been a doctor assigned to the team specifically. i understand health care is expensive in st. Lucia and as such puts added pressure on parents who are seeking same, like wise insurance. However if our youth are doing a service for their country I think it is fair for at least once yearly or at most twice a year that the government allow these kids to do tests/screeenings when selected as part of the team. Measures need to be put in place to ensure that our youth are been taken care. I know many will say this is not the responsibility of the government and that the onus is on the parents. All sporting disciplines being represented as part of a national team need to request health cards from atheletes.

      On another note, I don’t know Joanne, but my heart goes out to her teachers, family, friends, team st lucia and school mates. Stay strong as he has taken her under his wings.

  11. It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that before the school year begins that their child goes to the doctor a yearly physical. This is what should be made mandatory. That the child attends school with a health certificate stating that the child is cleared to participate in sports activities. Most parents in St. Lucia only take their children to the doctor when the child is sick by then it is to late.

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