SCARY TIME: Teenager Faith Pittman had a heart attack scare at a recent cross country event.
SCARY TIME: Teenager Faith Pittman had a heart attack scare at a recent cross country event. Contributed

Young star athlete's heart attack scare shakes family

RAPPVILLE athlete Faith Pittman is recovering from a heart attack scare after collapsing at a school cross country event.

The 15-year-old only recently made the Queensland A squad as a result of being ranked in Australia's top eight for the under-18 long jump.

Faith has had to take time out of her training schedule due to a hole in the heart that was originally thought to cause her no problems unless she took up scuba diving.

It all changed when she collapsed at Evans Head in a school cross country event two weeks ago.

"She spent three nights in the Lismore Base Hospital and was totally exhausted for 10 days after passing out just meters from the finish line of the 3.5km race," her mother Robyn Pittman said.

"It was found that there was enough troponin in her blood to indicate a possible heart attack.

"She is now in good hands and under the care of Dr Ross Sharpe on the Gold Coast and further tests will help Faith determine her next move.

"Faith gave away one of her favoured events the 200m sprint as she pulled up badly after a few races.

"We put it down to lack of condition at times but when we noticed how the other girls in the race handled after the race was over it just seemed Faith was really struggling with the longer events.

"(She) was just exhausted and ended up in the medic tent on more than one occasion.

"She would in some cases get pains in the chest and seem to have over heated."

It is too soon to say if the hole alone is the problem or if she will need corrective surgery to pursue her talent as an athlete.

But Faith and her mum think that if you feel there is something not quite right don't stop looking for answers.

"You just never know what situation your teen could be in when this sort of thing shows itself," Robyn said.

"Faith is a well accomplished athlete and of national standard and it has shaken her and the family, (it came) seemingly out of nowhere but it has been there the entire time."