Tennessee sophomore forward Emmanuel Negedu underwent a surgical procedure on his heart at UT Medical Center on Tuesday and will not play for the men’s basketball team this season.
Negedu had a sub-pectoral implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) implanted in his chest and is doing well, according to a UT release. Negedu is expected to remain at the hospital overnight for observation.
The ICD is a permanent device that constantly monitors the heart’s rhythm. When an irregularity occurs, the ICD delivers energy to the heart muscle, which returns the heart to its normal rhythm.
Negedu, 20, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest after racing a teammate on the indoor football field after the Vols finished a light weight workout in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex on Sept. 28.
UT senior associate athletic trainer Chad Newman and director of sports medicine Jason McVeigh were nearby and raced to Negedu’s side. Newman initiated emergency medical service response.
The use of an on-site automatic external defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) — both of which were administered by Newman — were necessary to revive Negedu.
Negedu spent three nights at UT Medical Center, where he was in stable condition during the duration of his stay. He was discharged from UT Medical Center wearing an external defibrillator vest, but he insisted on taking a class test on Thursday.
Negedu traveled to the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic on Friday where he underwent more tests and was diagnosed before returning to Knoxville on Friday night.
The 6-foot-7, 219-pound native of Nigeria wore the vest up until he underwent Tuesday’s procedure, attending a UT basketball workout on Saturday.
“I just want to say thanks to all those people that care about me and show me they care,” Negedu said in the UT release. “I want to say I appreciate everything.
“God is going to see me through this. With God, all things are possible. God is always in control.”
While Negedu will not practice or play with the Vols this season, he will remain on full scholarship and will continue to be a valuable part of the UT basketball program.
“The stuff that he’s going through, none of us can put into words,’’ senior forward Tyler Smith said. “We’ve never had basketball taken away from us.
“We are all just thinking about him, and we all need to keep him in our prayers.’’
UT coach Bruce Pearl praised Negedu’s courage and drive.
“Emmanuel is such a special young man,” Pearl said. “You don’t come across many like him. He’s faced a tremendously frightening obstacle with unbelievable courage. He is going to be an inspiration to many, and we all feel truly blessed that he’s still here with us.”