Heart issues caused by COVID-19 a big concern for college athletes
The Big 10 Conference will screen athletes who get COVID-19 for heart problems. The link between the virus and the heart – while rare – could have severe consequences.
A rare heart condition nearly killed Joe Rumore. But thanks to a heart transplant when he was 53 years old, he is about to turn 67. He calls those 14 years his second life.
“I couldn’t ask for more of my second life. Along with seeing my kids get married and my granddaughters and things of that nature,” Rumore says.
A big part of Rumore’s second life is the Myocarditis Foundation. Myocarditis is a dangerous, but little-known disease that has been thrust into the spotlight because of coronavirus.
“We had tried for years to get this awareness out there,” Rumore says.
The most high-profile myocarditis case may be Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodrigues. The 27-year-old was fighting off a bad case of COVID-19 when an MRI revealed inflammation of the heart that can be deadly. It can be a COVID-19 complication even in someone young and otherwise healthy.
An Ohio State study shows that 15% of college athletes with COVID-19 also had heart problems.
Leagues like the Big 10 say that any player who gets the virus has to sit out for at least three weeks. But Rumore says that he does not think that this is enough.
Rumore’s heart issues were caused by another virus – mono. He was also a young athlete and the mon led to myocarditis. He says that he hopes that his story will cause others to take the condition seriously.