Teen Returns to Football Field After Stroke, Heart Surgery


A comeback story is all about defying the odds. In Carson Cathey’s case, he did that twice.

The 16-year-old is a defensive tackle on his high school football team, and earlier this year he suffered a stroke. It’s something that happens to just 0.006% of kids and teens, and Cathey didn’t have a single risk factor.

Doctors were able to stop the stroke, but couldn’t find the cause of it. It meant that Cathey was going to be sent home with blood thinners, his football career over and his life changed forever. But, as Denver7 tells it, there was one last specialist to consult with.

Dr. Joshua Murphy had, like Cathey, had a stroke at a young age. And Murphy thought that Cathey’s case could be similar to his own: a blood clot travelling through a hole in his heart to his brain.

Murphy was right. And four weeks after repairing the hole in Carson’s heart, the 16-year-old was back on the football field. His coach asked him to address the team before his first-game back, and Carson didn’t disappoint. “You have to make every second on your field count,” he told his teammates, “because you don’t know when it’s your last second.”

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