Former Black Stars striker, Raphael Dwamena, died during a football match between Egnatia Rrogozhinë and Partizani Tirana.
The Ghanaian player collapsed on the pitch in the 23rd minute after suffering a heart seizure, according to Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio. Despite the efforts of the team doctors, they were unable to save his life.
Dwamena had been playing with an implanted defibrillator since 2020, when he experienced a heart seizure for the first time.
In November 2021, he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for BW Linz during a game against TSV Hartberg. Due to his heart complications, he was released by the club in 2022 and subsequently joined Albanian side KF Egnatia in January.
Throughout his professional career spanning nine years, Dwamena played for nine clubs, including well-known teams like Levante, Real Zaragoza, Red Bull Salzburg, and FC Zurich.
His international career with the Black Stars was unfortunately cut short by his heart issues. Dwamena made his debut for the national team in 2017, playing a total of nine games and scoring two goals.
Implanted defibrillators are not new and have been used by other players in the past. For example, Daley Blind, who plays for Ajax and the Dutch national team, had an implanted defibrillator fitted in 2019. This was because he was diagnosed with a heart condition called myocarditis.
The defibrillator helps monitor his heart rhythm and can provide a shock if needed. Despite his diagnosis, Blind continued to play professional football.
Another player with an implanted defibrillator is Christian Eriksen, who currently plays for Manchester United. In 2022, Eriksen became the first Premier League player known to have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) fitted.
However, some players have had to retire from football due to heart issues. Sergio Aguero, while playing for Barcelona, experienced chest discomfort during a match against Alaves in October.
After medical evaluation, he was diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat. As a result, Aguero made the decision to retire from professional football earlier than expected.
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