Senior Standout: Valier Volleyball Player Heather Suek Dealing w - News, Sports and Weather

Senior Standout: Valier Volleyball Player Heather Suek Dealing with Adversity

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Heather Suek has grit. She's a fighter. She's also a believer, even when the odds are against her. The senior Valier volleyball setter also plays from a place within.

"I play with my heart," said Heather Suek.

She plays with her heart not just figuratively, but she also plays with her heart literally. Heather suffers from a heart condition called Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia. It's a long and complex medical term to describe how her heart can go out of control in a very short period of time.

"It makes so my resting heart rate goes up to like 222 beats per minute, in just a split second, and then it would be like that for one to two minutes. Then it would go back down to like 60 or something like that. It just wears me out. After that happens, I'm done," said Suek.

Teammate Mariah Stoltz can remember the first time she found out that Heather was having issues with her heart.

"I remember freshman year, her coming up and saying 'my heart's beating like really fast', and I was like, I don't know what to do cause you don't hear of many people complaining that often saying, 'My heart's beating fast. It's like not slowing down. It's beating faster than it should'," said teammate Mariah Stoltz.

Panthers head volleyball coach Cayla Morel has coached Heather since she was a freshman. Even though she's learned to recognize when Heather's experiencing difficulties with her heart, it's still not easy for her to witness.

"Watching as a coach, it's scary because you don't want anything like that to happen to your players," said Valier head volleyball coach Cayla Morel.

"She'll let me know on the court. She'll just look at me, and usually she pats her chest, and that's kind of our signal that my heart's gone off. I need to come out, so we'll sub her out real quick, and we'll usually sit her on the bench. Her face is usually as red as a cherry because it drains every ounce of energy she has," said Morel.

"When I'm out on the court, I'm not thinking about my heart. I'm thinking about the game," said Suek.

Heather says she's dealt with her heart problems for a long time, and she says it really didn't become a problem until she was playing sports in fifth grade. 

Five months ago, in June of 2015, she had her first heart surgery. 

"It didn't work," said Suek. "It's going off constantly all the time. Even when I'm just like sitting here. It'll start going off, just randomly," said Suek. 

Next month, she'll have another one, and she's already talking about playing more sports right after her recovery.

"I'm getting the next surgery December 23rd, so it's coming up. The recovery time is only a week so I will be cleared for basketball," said Suek. "I want to be there for the team, and so that they can do better too. It's like, 'yeah I have an issue, but everybody has issues'," said Suek.

Heather's positive outlook has inspired her teammates.

"It kind of makes you take control of yourself to be like mentally tougher on yourself. If someone else can struggle with that and do it without complaining, you can do it easily without complaining," said Stoltz.

She's also inspired her coach so much that talking about her brings her to tears.

"She has been awesome. I'm going to get emotional. It's been fun having her all four years, and it's been a pleasure," said Morel.

While Heather keeps pushing through her tribulations, she always finds time to uplift and encourage others.

"I say just live life to the fullest. Like you need to live every second in the second," said Suek.

Heather will continue to push forward as a Valier panther leaving all of her heart on the volleyball court.

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