Varsity BBall Guard Plays Through Blood Pressure Syndrome


Tom Flanders

Sophomore guard Shane Troffkin continues to fill an important role off the bench for the varsity basketball team despite his medical condition.

By Caden Troffkin, Clarksburg High School

CHS sophomore Shane Troffkin was diagnosed with POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) in eighth grade.

In the body, blood flow is maintained by heart rate and blood pressure working together. People suffering from POTS cannot keep their blood pressure steady and stable.

“When your heart has to work that hard and your blood pressure falls, that can throw other body functions off balance,” Shane said.

POTS makes you have low blood pressure which can cause dizziness, nausea, blurred vision or fainting. These symptoms would be debilitating for any person, but especially for a varsity athlete. Shane is a member of the varsity boys basketball team this winter.

Shane sometimes feels frustrated about “not feeling well and not being able to play sports when I feel like it or not being able to go outside sometimes.”

Those who suffer from POTS treat it a lot differently than other diagnoses. In addition to the fatigue and blood pressure symptoms, Shane needs to carefully plan his diet.

“I need to stay really hydrated throughout the day so I take water bottles wherever I go. Being able to play sports a lot helps it out a little bit,” Shane said.

Shane’s parents were initially worried about him, and while at a check-up, they explained what he was feeling to the pediatrician.

Shane’s mother Christine Troffkin said, “His pediatrician mentioned that his symptoms sounded like a condition called POTS. We had a family friend whose daughter had POTS and they recommended a doctor in Virginia who is a POTS specialist.”

Although POTS prevents a “normal” life, his parents feel that POTS has helped Shane in some ways.

Christine Troffkin added, “POTS is a condition that most children grow out of. We hope this is the case for Shane. POTS has taught Shane the importance of good health and taking care of his body. He has become more resilient and learned to persevere through difficult times. I am so proud of him and how he has handled his diagnosis.”

This story was originally published on The Clarksburg Howl on January 22, 2019.