Utah State men's basketball: Thanking God, Danny Berger says he'll be able to play basketball again
"I pretty much (remember) all of practice, up until the last little play that we had," Berger said. "We were just getting ready for our next opponent, and it kind of felt like you know, when you're in bed and you stand up too quick and you get lightheaded. It felt kind of like that and then things just kind of went black, and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital. I don't have very much memory loss."
The junior was groggy but grateful.
"There were a lot of people there when I woke up," he said smiling. "I’m grateful for all of their support."
It wasn't until later that doctors explained exactly what happened to him Tuesday.
"I was in a bed and I was hooked up to all of this stuff, so I figured something had happened," he said, shooting a grin in Parker's direction. "I wasn't really sure. They explained it to me, and I started to remember some stuff that happened."
Bunch said doctors at Intermountain Medical Center went to work trying to determine whether or not it was basketball that caused his "fatal" heart rhythm.
"This is one we can't fully explain," said Bunch, who won over his patient (as well as Aggie head coach Stew Morrill) quickly because he's from Logan and wears his hospital ID on a Utah State lanyard.
Doctors do know it wasn't just physical exertion that caused Berger's cardiac arrest.
"We don't have clear evidence that the basketball in itself triggered the fatal rhythm," he said. "We know he has a tendency to it, to have these rhythms, but because there is a missing link with basketball, by all means we want him to go back and play."
Instead of having him give up the sport he loves, Friday morning doctors inserted a tiny defibrillator — about the size of a silver dollar — onto his heart. It will monitor his heart rhythm and shock his heart, preventing another cardiac arrest.
"These new defibrillators give us an advantage as physicians in that they communicate with us over the phone," said Bunch holding the device up for reporters. "So he goes home to his dorm, and if he's been active and has some of these fast rhythms, then he'll be hearing from me that night."
Bunch said there are other NCAA athletes who rely on an internal defibrillator to help protect them from a cardiac incident.
The only visible evidence of Berger's surgery Friday was the fact that his left arm must remain in a sling, holding his elbow next to his body. He is happy to be heading back to Logan on Saturday and grateful he'll be attending the game with his family.
"I'm hoping to be at the game tomorrow," he said when asked of his plans after discharge. "I feel really good. I feel like normal."
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