On Tuesday, a University of Minnesota Duluth football senior defensive lineman passed away a week after going into cardiac arrest during a workout with his team. Reed Ryan was just one month shy of his 23rd birthday.
In his obituary, Ryan's family explained that the sudden attack had been brought on by an "undetected genetic heart condition."
"Reed went into cardiac arrest on November 21st following a football team workout in the weight-room doing what he loved," they wrote. "This was the result of an undetected genetic heart condition and a large, loving heart."
Ryan's family praised the school's athletic training team and the ICU hospital staff at St. Mary's-Duluth for their "tremendous" efforts to save him, which included immediately initiating CPR to regain his pulse, and doing everything they could do [to] keep him alive.
He was remembered as a committed Christian, and a generous person who "lived life to the fullest in his short years."
"Even in death, Reed was thinking of how he could help others," they added, noting that he had "donated several organs" and "will be an important part of a NCAA research study to help prevent this from happening to other athletes."
His teammates and coaches also mourned his passing.
"Our staff and players are devastated about Reed's passing," Coach Curt Wiese said in a statement. "We were fortunate to have Reed on our team, and he made our program, our department, and our community a better place in a short period of time ... He was the epitome of a UMD Bulldog, and what we can all aspire to be."
In an interview with KARE11, UMD Cardiovascular Medicine Professor Dr. Henri Roukoz explained that while sudden cardiac arrest is rare, it is the most common cause of death among young athletes.
He went on to note that while UMD gives athletes higher levels of screening for heart-related conditions, current technologies such as electrocardiograms can only detect so much.
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