7/1/96 - 5/20/13
May 20, 2013, started as any other spring Monday in Grove, Oklahoma, for 16-year-old, Chase Morris. The weathermen were forecasting a rough day filled with thunderstorms and the possibility of tornados, but that was for later in the day. School was almost out and Chase was planning to spend the summer with his dad and his family in Tulsa working on his tennis.
It was the last week of school and the next two days were full of finals. School let out early that day so Chase and friends went to a local church to play volleyball followed by basketball. Later in the evening, he played ping-pong with his older brother who was home from college and his friends. Around 11:30pm Chase told everyone that he was feeling a little dizzy, so he thought he would go on in for the night.
A few minutes passed before a friend went inside to find Chase unresponsive on the floor. CPR was started; an ambulance was called, but never arrived. Chase’s brother and his friends loaded Chase on a carpet, put him in a truck and drove him to the emergency room, to no avail. Chase was pronounced dead at the hospital. There was no warning. There were no signs or symptoms, just a sudden collapse and he was gone.
Chase was an avid athlete, growing up playing football, basketball, baseball and gravitating in his freshman year to tennis. Everything Chase did he did with passion! He took up tennis and less than two years later placed sixth in the state doubles competition just two weeks before his death. Chase could light up an entire room with his presence, smile and laughter. Chase loved life along with his friends, classmates and community and he greatly touched so many lives. One classmate said, "He never made anyone feel as though they did not matter."
An autopsy identified that he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, which was never diagnosed. At 6’2” and 252 pounds, Chase seemed by all appearances to be a healthy, young athlete, but unknown to all he had an ailment that would take his life without warning.
Chase was a vibrant and athletic, young man with a passion for life who gave to his community, school and friends with such an enthusiasm and loyalty that he greatly touched many lives around him in his 16 short years on earth. This was never more apparent than when word spread through his community of his death and dozens and dozens of students and parents filled the hospital parking lot in the middle of the night in disbelief.
Chase lived life with enthusiasm! From standing in the stands at a basketball game with a sign reading “Hey Beau, I’m Victoria’s Secret” a jab at a star opponent and his girlfriend, to playing Santa Claus in his mother’s flower shop or driving nearly two hours to deliver flowers to his ‘special friend’ for Valentine’s Day, Chase loved life.
The Chase Morris Foundation was founded in Chase’s honor and keeps his name alive. We may have lost Chase to Sudden Cardiac Arrest but we vow to make his life count and are committed to keeping others with hidden cardiac problems alive.
“What’s worth doing in life is worth doing with passion!” – Chase Morris