September 03, 2016

(STATS) - Wofford linebacker Michael Roach was released from a Tennessee hospital and returning to campus in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Saturday, two days after going into cardiac arrest during the team's season-opening game at Tennessee Tech.

The junior from Kenosha, Wisconsin, collapsed on his team's sideline during the third quarter. He was later diagnosed at Cookeville Regional Medical Center with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes in the United States. Typically, only five percent of people survive after going into cardiac arrest.

Roach had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator inserted on Friday.

"This was an undiagnosed heart condition that I have had most likely since I was born as it is caused by a genetic mutation," Roach said. "It causes the heart walls to thicken and during exercise it can result in loss of blood flow and the rhythm to get off beat.

"I was on the field for the 13-play drive by Tennessee Tech and my heart was beating very fast, but it was not pumping blood. I went into cardiac arrest and for approximately 45 seconds had no pulse and was not breathing. The athletic trainers and doctors were in the right place at the right time to do what was needed."

In a university release, Roach thanked the athletic training staffs from the two schools, the hospital doctors and staff, and the Tennessee Tech community. Wofford won the game 21-7.

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