In October of 2008, August Koontz, an active young athlete from San Antonio died in his sleep at the age of 18. His death was the result of sudden cardiac arrest, brought about by a genetic heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) which causes a thickening of the heart wall and can lead to obstruction of blood flow and an erratic heartbeat.
After the loss of their son August, Doré and Bart Koontz struggled to make sense of his death. Like most parents, they had never heard of HCM and were shocked to learn that August had it. The most devastating realization for the Koontz family was knowing that August would still be alive today had he undergone a simple 20-minute heart screening.
In May 2011 Doré and Bart launched AugustHeart, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing free heart screenings to local teenagers. Since that time, AugustHeart has successfully implemented a community-wide effort involving a team of volunteers. These include board certified cardiologists, sonographers, technicians and area high school athletic programs through partnerships with Baptist Health System, Christus Santa Rosa Health System, Methodist Healthcare System, University Health System and UT Medicine San Antonio. Joined by the professional expertise and dedication of our partners, AugustHeart is committed to the prevention of tragic and unnecessary teen deaths caused by undiagnosed heart conditions.