A 21-year-old Jackson State defensive lineman is in intensive care after a doctor needed to resuscitate him following the young player suffering cardiac arrest.
Kaseem Vauls’ father, William, confirmed his son’s condition in a series of tweets sent from the player’s social media account earlier this week. William Vauls said that Kaseem went to the University of Mississippi Medical Center Tuesday night because he was suffering from stomach pains. The dad said his son went into cardiac arrest Wednesday morning. He asked for prayers from the Jackson State students and faculty and also wanted someone to help him contact the football coach.
Father of Jackson State Player Said Son’s Heart Was Functioning at 10 to 15%
William Vauls told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that doctors placed his son on a ventilator and operated on him later that day. He said his son still is “heavily sedated.” And after speaking with a cardiologist, William Vauls said that his son’s heart was functioning at about 10-15%.
“What the doctors think happened, that when Kaseem’s heart was failing, that’s what was giving him the stomach pains,” William Vauls told the newspaper. “His liver was suffering as fluid built up with toxins in his liver, kidneys and blood. All those toxins built up in his bloodstream and his heart could not operate properly and the machine is being used to clean out the blood and toxins.”
The father said his son hadn’t felt well for several weeks. He said he told him to go to the emergency room, which he did. From videos and tweets on social media, it appeared Kaseem still was participating in the Jackson State offseason conditioning program. William said his son didn’t tell the coaches he wasn’t feeling well.
Dad Said Son’s Heart Problem Could Be Genetic
The father said Kaseem’s condition could be genetic. William said doctors diagnosed him with A-fib seven years ago. Sudden cardiac arrest is rare among athletes 35 or younger. But it does happen. Healthline reported that in most cases, the arrest often is caused from a heart defect present from birth.
The condition received national attention in January, when Buffalo Bill safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest early in a Monday Night Football game against the Bengals. Hamlin spent several days in the ICU on a ventilator. But he survived. Hamlin made his first speaking appearances last week in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
Kaseem Vauls tweeted his prayers to Hamlin the day after the Bills safety collapsed on the field.
The Jackson State player still is heavily sedated, but is considered stable, but in critical condition.
Kaseem redshirted last fall at Jackson State, which was coached by Deion Sanders. It was his first year on the team. The South Carolina native transferred from Alabama A&M.
“I have received a lot of support from the JSU alumni, faculty, coaches, students,” William Vauls said. “They have put me up in a hotel for five nights. We are so grateful to them for their help in our time of need.”