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Possible Cause of Pirates Player's Sudden Death

rizzo 300MADISONVILLE, KY (6/3/12) – UPDATE – As reported yesterday by SurfKY News, a player with the newly formed Madisonville Tradewater Pirates tragically died on opening night of the baseball team’s inaugural season (click here for the full article).

Reid Rizzo, 20, was found by a fellow teammate the following morning at the home of their host family.

Ahead of autopsy reports, WLTW.com reported today that Rizzo’s family provided a possible explanation for his sudden death. The parents shared that Rizzo suffered from cardiomyopathy, diagnosed with the disease at the age of 3.

“The family said doctors told them Reid would never be an athlete or even ride a bike. However, their son defied the odds and developed into an outstanding baseball player,” reads the article.

The Cardiomyopathy Association describes the ailment as a heart muscle disease that “affects people of all ages and is mostly inherited. It is not curable but can be treated successfully, with most of those affected going on to lead a long and full life.”

According to an article in the University of Iowa website, uihealthcare.com, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy “causes half of the sudden death cases involving athletes under age 35 . . . A thickening of the heart’s walls can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause sudden and unexpected death in athletes.”

It is currently unclear which form of cardiomyopathy ailed Rizzo or if it was a contributing factor to his death, which investigators say initially appears to be of natural causes.

Casey Piscitelli
SurfKY News

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