Garrett Uekman Had Undiagnosed Heart Condition That Resulted In His Death, Says Coroner

The coroner who examined Arkansas tight end Garrett Uekman said Tuesday that Uekman suffered from a heart condition that may have led to his fatal cardiac arrest Sunday morning, according to the Associated Press.

The condition, called cardiomyopathy, causes the heart to become enlarged and often goes undetected until it's too late, which appears to be the case for Uekman, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman who was seen by his roommate playing video games in his dorm room not long before his death. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said the university wasn't aware the freshman tight end suffered from any condition.

From the AP:

Uekman's toxicology report came back with no indications of improper drug use, Morris said. He said the manner of death was natural. University police have said there were no suspicious circumstances about Uekman's death.

Thousands of people turned out for a candlelight vigil held Monday night on Arkansas' campus in Uekman's honor. Arkansas chancellor G. David Gearhart and football coach Bobby Petrino were among those who spoke, according to ArkansasOnline.com

Uekman's death has rocked the UA campus just days ahead of the football program's biggest regular season game in more than four decades. The No. 3 Razorbacks will play at No. 1 LSU on Friday.

Choking back tears, Petrino said the team would play the game at the request of the Uekman family.

"To the outside world, we will take the field without number 88," Petrino said. "They could not be more wrong.

"Garrett will be there in the heart and soul of every Razorback that takes the field, sits in the stands or watches on TV. He is part of us and will be forever."

For more on the Razorbacks, visit Razorbacks blog Arkansas Expats.

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