Rich Peverley thanks medical personnel, is out for rest of season (updated)


Rich Peverley read a brief statement Wednesday, thanking medical personnel. (Tim Sharp / AP)

Rich Peverley, who suffered a cardiac event on the Dallas Stars bench during a game Monday night, will undergo a heart procedure and will not play again this season, he said in a press conference Wednesday in Dallas.

Peverley, 31, had been taking medication for atrial fibrillation, which was diagnosed during training camp, and had been cleared to play. But early in the Stars’ game Monday, he collapsed and was quickly revived in the hallway. In a press conference Wednesday at UT Southwestern St. Paul Hospital, he read a brief statement.

“On behalf of my wife, all of my family and myself I’d like to thank the number of people who saved my life,” Peverley said. “They all attended to me once I passed out and they saved my life and I will forever be grateful.”

Doctors said that Peverley’s heart was beating rapidly, then stopped for a few seconds. Medical personnel and a fan started CPR. Peverley was shocked once with a defibrillator.

“It’s controlled panic, but everything was done very professionally and there were no issues,” Dr. Robert J. Dimeff, primary care sports medicine director at the hospital, said. A-fib, the most common type of heart arrythmia, was discovered during a preseason physical and the staff had considered ablation surgery before opting to wait until after the season.

“It likely would keep him out for two, three months, maybe longer, depending,” Dimeff said. “And so he said, ‘I’m new to the team. It’s a new coach, a new general manager. I only have a two-year contract. They’ve got to know that I can play this game,’ and that sort of thing. So we went back and forth.

“That was a joint decision, an informed decision on his part, again in consultation with the cardiology department here and our other consultants.”

Peverley will have surgery now. It is not yet known whether Peverley will be able to resume his career.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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