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God Bless MC Uhem

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Lisa Salberg Find out more about Lisa Salberg
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  • God Bless MC Uhem

    Enlarged heart killed UA football recruit

    BLAKE MORLOCK
    Tucson Citizen

    McCollins Umeh's heart was just too big.
    The 18-year-old prized college football recruit collapsed June 8 during his first workout with the University of Arizona Wildcats and was pronounced dead at University Medical Center about an hour later.

    An autopsy report released yesterday by the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office concludes Umeh's heart gave out because of its size.

    Enlarged hearts are particularly dangerous for athletes. Stress during workouts can cause larger hearts to beat irregularly until blood stops flowing through the body and the heart stops, Pima County Medical Examiner Bruce Parks said.

    The medical term for it is concentric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and this condition appears to be the most likely cause of death, Parks said.

    "It made the most sense," Parks said. "There were no other abnormalities. The body temperature was normal when he came in (to the hospital), so heat wasn't a factor. And toxicology showed no drugs in his system."

    The mass of Umeh's heart was 590 grams, roughly 50 percent larger than a typical heart for a man Umeh's size, said Tucson interventional cardiologist Greg Koshkarian, who was not involved in Umeh's treatment.

    Regardless of the cause, the shock hasn't worn off, said head football coach Mike Stoops.

    "It is hard on kids and hard on coaches, but the support of the family and the university throughout was unbelievable," Stoops said.

    Tucson Citizen Sportswriter John Moredich contributed to this article.
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

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