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Ozarks Life: Heart surgery helps Madison Reed continue her passion

Ozark High School’s Madison Reed returns to volleyball after health scare
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 8:49 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The gymnasium at Ozark High School has seen many success stories over its time. The most recent however, doesn’t involve a banner.

“One moment you’re watching your child play volleyball,” Brian Reed said, “then you wake up and you’re pulling into a childrens’ hospital. It’s a very humbling moment.”

In 2019, Madison Reed was an underclassman playing above expectations on the Ozark volleyball team until one day she started feeling drained.

“I thought it was adrenaline from the game,” Madison said, “then I noticed it at home when I was watching Dancing with the Stars.”

“(Her heart was) about 215 beats per minute,” Brian said about his daughter.

“My (primary care) doctor said I could never do volleyball again,” Madison said.

“We just held each other and cried like a parent would do,” Brian said.

But the Reed’s didn’t stay down for long. Three months after her first doctors visit, Madison was ready for surgery in St. Louis.

Her condition, atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT), is rarely life threatening and completely curable.

“I had electrical pathways in my heart I wasn’t supposed to have,” Madison said. “It would beat in a cycle and couldn’t get in a rhythm.”

Two small incisions later, doctors burned those pathways closed and Madison’s volleyball career opened back up.

Just two weeks after surgery Madison was back to playing the sport she first took up in the 4th grade. She was a crucial part of the Ozark varsity high school team and now is enjoying a successful club season with Thr33 Volleyball Academy.

“I think heart is a good word to describe Madison,” Ozark H.S. Volleyball coach Adeana Brewer said. “She plays with heart, leaves heart on the floor, leads with her heart.”

This scare made a teen take a closer look at life. It gave her an outlook many adults would struggle to notice.

“I don’t need volleyball to define me,” Madison said. “I took a lot away from it.”

“Don’t take little things for granted; each moment with your kids is precious and treat it as so,” Brian said.

Madison hopes to play volleyball after she graduates high school. Four colleges have already reached out to her with interest.

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