Utah State basketball: Danny Berger undergoes tests; siblings thank Aggie athletic trainer for saving his life
"(It's been) very traumatic for them," Barnes said. "Danny is a strong young man and is well-loved by everyone. We were with them right after it happened. They were shocked. At that point in time we did have an offer for counseling for anyone that needed it. The main issue was to understand what happened and where Danny was in the situation. Many of them traveled down to be with him by his side. (They were) shocked and questioning how Danny is going to be."
As Berger has improved, his teammates and coaches have improved as well. In addition to many of his family, his teammates, and Williams, Aggies head coach Stew Morrill has been at the hospital the entire time as well.
"He is very concerned, very emotional," said Barnes of Morrill. "He's been by his side most of the time. As Danny's progressing, coach Morrill is progressing, in terms of his circumstance. He's a man that cares very deeply for that student-athlete and that came out in a number of ways."
Barnes expressed gratitude to BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and men's basketball coach Dave Rose for their willingness to reschedule Wednesday's game, as well as their support for the team and Berger.
"It's times like this that the actual athletic events take a back seat," Barnes said.
According to IMC medical spokesman Jess Gomez, it's still unknown what caused the cardiac arrest.
"A lot of evaluation at this point, but nothing that I'm able to announce," he said during a scheduled press conference Wednesday afternoon. "The unit where he is located, these are some of the best physicians and medical staff in the country. He's getting the very best care possible. Right now, the main focus is further stabilizing him and treating his condition (and) in the process find out what caused this."
Barnes and Lyons explain why doctors are looking at an arrhythmia or genetic defect as the cause of cardiac arrest in a seemingly strong, fit young man.
"Most common when you think of heart attack is a blood clot blocking a vessel and that's not what we think he has," said Lyons. "When an AED says you go into full arrest, it means the heart's electrical activity is not sufficiently providing the pumping mechanism to provide blood to the brain. In an athlete under 35 it is not commonly (a) blood clot (that causes the heart attack)."
"He's gone through some tests, medical tests, taking some pictures looking at the structural integrity of his heart," Lyons said. "It's my understanding that the electrophysiology tests to see if he can produce an arrhythmia."
Barnes said Saturday's game at the Spectrum against Western Oregon would be played as scheduled, although he wasn't sure when the team would practice again.
Berger is averaging 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds as a starter in his second season with the Aggies. His brother, John, and sister, Lauren, delivered a statement during Wednesday's press conference at the hospital, but elected not to field questions.
"We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. I know that you have made a difference in keeping my brother alive," said John Berger while choking back emotion. "We are so thankful for everyone who has been so kind and willing to help in any way. Thanks to the medical staff here at Intermountain Medical Center, at Logan Regional Hospital, and Danny's teammates and coaching staff. Most of all, thank you to Mike Williams, the Utah State University trainer, who was at practice when Danny collapsed. He saved my brother's life, and I thank God for him."
Contributing: Kraig Williams
Twitter: adonsports, tphibbsami
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