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17-year-old Gabe Higginbottom is known as a young, healthy Tennessee athlete and cross-country runner. This is why doctors were baffled when he suffered a heart attack.
After being airlifted to the hospital, doctors found two blood clots. They also found that his right artery was completely blocked.
Higginbottom was competing in Pensacola, Florida when things quickly downhill after the race. Although his vitals were good, he went to the local hospital out of an abundance of caution.
His coach Kris Harman explained, “He started complaining about his chest hurting and kept complaining and we went to the trainer’s tent. Everybody initially thinks it’s hot, it’s heat exhaustion so give him ice but he’s still complaining about his chest.”
“After an hour he was taken by some of the dad’s and coach to the medical tent. His vitals were good. Out of abundance of caution the doctor on site said he should go to the hospital,” she said.
“At the hospital his vitals were good until they weren’t. He was then airlifted with his mom to Gainesville Florida for further tests.”
Harman said doctors are baffled by his condition.
“They’re just trying to figure out what caused it,” he said, according to WREG. “They’re cross country runners so these guys are slim, trim, they’re fit and so to see there was something there kind of shocked everybody.”
Joe Moore, who is a family member and the organizer of a GoFundMe page for Higginbottom, confirmed that he suffered a heart attack.
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“After running tests, they found Gabe’s right artery was completely blocked,” Moore wrote.
“Doctors performed an angioplasty to insert a balloon to open up his artery. Later they performed a 3-hour surgery inserting two stents and found two blood clots. He is currently recovering in Gainesville.”
Moore said his son Andrew, 16, is also on the team. He said the incident would prompt a closer look at his son’s post-race health.
Higginbottom is a junior at Bartlett High School, according to a Facebook post from Bartlett City Schools.