Great news for the American Hockey League’s Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunnigham, who will be released from Banner University of Arizona Medical Center before Christmas. Cunnigham, whom suffered what was a terrifying collapse on November 19th before the team’s match-up against the Manitoba Moose, was admitted that night and has remained in the medical center since rehabbing and undergoing tests.
Cunnigham suffered what has since been labeled as a “medical emergency” right before the game. The 26-year old was skating around the ice moments after the National Anthem just before puck drop when he collapsed. After he hit the ice he began convulsing and medical personal rushed to his side. They cut his jersey open and began performing chest compressions, before transporting him to the local hospital.
Since the incident, Cunningham has been in the care of medical officials and has been monitored. Cunningham received treatment from an ECMO device (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). “A pump circulates blood through a circuit of tubing supporting heart function and through an oxygenator, which functions as an artificial lung,” Banner Medical Center said in a statement released Tuesday to NHL.com. “It is used to help patients of all ages with life-threatening conditions that impair heart and/or lung function. Most patients who need ECMO are almost certain to die without this level of support.”
“The quick action of bystanders who performed effective CPR, the actions of St. Mary’s staff, and the advanced technology and care provided at Tucson’s academic medical center have led to a truly remarkable recovery,” Banner Medical Center added (Via NHL.com).
Truly remarkable indeed. Excellent news to hear that Cunningham, who has four goals and nine assists in 11 games played this season for the Roadrunners, will be home with his family in good health for the holiday season. There is no word yet on when, or even if, he will be able to return to the ice. Considering the level of the incident, it is safe to say a return is not imminent.