SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Wofford linebacker Michael Roach was released from the hospital in Cookeville after collapsing on the bench during the Terriers’ game against Tennessee Tech on Thursday.
Roach was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and had a procedure to implant a cardioverter defibrillator on Friday.
He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
“This was an undiagnosed heart condition that I have had most likely since I was born as it is caused by a genetic mutation,” said Roach. “It causes the heart walls to thicken and during exercise it can result in loss of blood flow and the rhythm to get off beat. I was on the field for the 13-play drive by Tennessee Tech and my heart was beating very fast, but it was not pumping blood. I went into cardiac arrest and for approximately 45 seconds had no pulse and was not breathing. The athletic trainers and doctors were in the right place at the right time to do what was needed.
“I would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers,” continued Roach. “I am thankful for the athletic training staffs and doctors at Wofford and Tennessee Tech for everything they did for me. Wofford athletic trainer Zach Lapinski and Dr. Eric Cole stayed with me at the hospital, which was greatly appreciated. Coach Mike Ayers and his wife Julie, along with Coach Nate Fuqua came by immediately after the game. Dr. Stacy Brewington, Dr. Mark Wathen and the nurses and staff at Cookeville Regional Medical Center have been very helpful. I would like to thank the entire Tennessee Tech community – I was visited by head coach Marcus Satterfield, athletic director Mark Wilson, athletic trainer Joe Erdeljac, and mayor Ricky Shelton. Their support helped me and my family get through this.”
Roach is a junior from Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease of the heart muscle in which a portion of the myocardium is enlarged without any obvious cause, creating functional impairment of the cardiac muscle. HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes in the United States and typically only 5% of people survive after going into cardiac arrest.