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High-school basketball player, diagnosed

by Sandra Faye Douthit - Reporter
| February 7, 2012 8:06 AM

Feeling dizzy and experiencing noticeable heart

palpations, Louis Cielak, 18, sought help from local doctors — the

electrocardiogram (EKG) revealed Idiopathic Hypertrophic Sub-aortic

Stenosis (IHSS).

Cielak has a history of IHSS in his family, his

mother and grandfather were diagnosed with the disorder.

IHSS obstructs the flow of blood out of the

left ventricle of the heart because of excessive-heart growth

affecting the ventricular septum — the wall between the two lower

chambers (the right and left ventricles) of the heart.

Doctors advised Cielak to stop participating in

high-impact sports. The heart can suddenly go into cardic arrest if

the heart beats too quickly.

“I’m bummed I can’t play basketball anymore,”

Cielak said. “I guess I’ll just play my second-favorite sport now,


Cielak feels guilty because he can no longer

help his Logger teammates. However, the players tell him to ‘keep

his head up’ and ‘we are playing for you.’ He has continued to

travel with his team to support them as a sidelines coach.

Cielak played basketball in his freshman and

sophomore years as a guard and played as a post/center until his

diagnoses this year as a senior at Libby High School.

Cielak has an older sister and younger brother,

neither of his siblings have been diagnosed with IHSS.