Tim Melville will often scan a crowd and find a kid that is just like he was. It’s a small thing and he can see it in their posture or maybe the way their shirt hangs off their body.
Working out this offseason, he spotted a kid in a tank top and noticed the kid’s chest. It was sunken, just like his was 15 years ago when he was a skinny 11-year-old who had trouble breathing.
Melville’s sternum was sunken into his chest, pushing against his heart and keeping his lungs from working fully. He and his family thought it was asthma. It was actually a medical condition, called pectus excavatum, an abnormality of the rib cage that gives the appearance of a sunken chest.
“You can’t see it — it has a lot to do with self-esteem a lot of times, people are shy about taking off their shirt, especially swimming,” Melville said. “It’s weird looking, people will ask, ‘what’s up?’ It can affect a lot of kids' self-esteem.”