Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eric Wortham, who missed the last two games of the season after being hospitalized, has been cleared to play basketball game.
Eagle’s Landing junior basketball star Eric Wortham Jr. got the news he was hoping for Thursday — he can play basketball again.
According to Golden Eagles coach Clay Crump, doctors in Los Angeles determined Wortham’s unexpected seizure and cardiac arrest March 2 was caused by commotio cordis, a disruption of heart rhythm from a blow to the chest area directly over the heart at a distinct point during the cycle of a heart beat.
Wortham’s incident is considered a random occurrence, and with his full recovery will allow him to resume a normal life, including basketball.
Wortham will have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) put in his chest as a safety precaution. Crump said Wortham’s recovery time from that operation would be three weeks.
The 6-foot-4 guard/forward was named Region 4-AAA Player of the Year after averaging 14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Wortham was also named the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald’s Henry County Player of the Year.
“We rejoice with Eric and his family in this news,” Crump said on Twitter.
Wortham’s seizure came the day before Eagle’s Landing’s quarterfinals game in the Class AAA tournament. A friend playfully jabbed at Wortham’s chest during lunch. Wortham fell soon after and went into convulsions.
Wortham went into cardiac arrest, was stabilized at Henry Medical Center, then flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He had a second seizure on the helicopter. Wortham woke up around 4 a.m. that Saturday, and after days of tests that came back normal, he was released from the hospital just in time to watch Eagle’s Landing take on No. 1 Columbia in the Class AAA semifinals in Macon.