Premature death is almost always a tragedy, but particularly so when the
victim is young and appears to be healthy. This is one reason why so many
were stunned by the sudden death of a University of California, Berkeley
football player earlier this year.
During an off-season training run with his teammates in February, a 21-year-old
pre-med student and football player showed symptoms suggesting that he
was unwell, yet those symptoms were allegedly unnoticed or ignored by
Cal’s training staff. Shortly afterward, the young man died from
what was later determined to be a genetic heart condition called hypertrophic
HCM reportedly affects an estimated 600,000 people in the United States,
making it the most common genetic heart condition. It is characterized
by thickening of the heart muscles, which interrupts regular blood flow.
The young man’s family recently filed a
wrongful death lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California.
Eventually, the staff did notice and took action, including putting the
student on a golf cart and driving him back toward the stadium. Shortly
thereafter, he collapsed and died.
Although coaches and trainers might not have known about his heart condition,
it seems likely that they could have responded to his visible symptoms
more quickly. Hopefully, this lawsuit will give the young man’s
family closure and appropriate compensation.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "
Ted Agu's family filing wrongful death suit against Cal," Jeff Faraudo, Aug. 4, 2014