Vanderbilt study connects heart damage to COVID-19, athletes at heightened risk

Jan 22, 2021

Vanderbilt women’s basketball player Demi Washington learned she had myocarditis following a cardiac MRI after she contracted COVID-19.
Credit VU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  A star Vanderbilt athlete has been sidelined by COVID-19 damage to her heart.

Basketball standout guard Demi Washington is out for the season.

Washington’s case highlights an occasional side effect of the virus. The star athlete says she had a mild case, but a cardiac MRI revealed inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis).

Undetected, the condition could have caused a sudden heart attack.

Vanderbilt now routinely screens athletes for the condition before they are allowed to return to competition.

Researchers at the university are recommending cardiac MRI’s for all athletes returning to play following a bout with COVID-19.