UCF student who collapsed in class had enlarged heart
An autopsy revealed that Michael Namey, a UCF student who died after collapsing in class, died from cardiac arrhythmia due to cardiomegaly.
In laymen’s terms, Namey died from an irregular heartbeat caused by an enlarged heart, resulting in his sudden cardiac death, according to a medical examiner report provided by the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office.
On Sept. 21, Namey collapsed suddenly in his pre-calculus class in Health and Public Affairs building 1. Namey didn’t wake when CPR was performed or when two AED shocks were given. He was transported to the Oviedo ER and then transferred to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, where he passed away on Sept. 22.
Namey's brother Joseph said he didn't have any pre-existing conditions in a previous interview with the Future. It was originally speculated that Namey suffered from sudden cardiac arrest. The autopsy report said that Namey’s heart’s weight was at the maximum of the spectrum.
“The heart appears large,” the report states.
Namey’s heart weighed 450 grams, while the normal heart weight for his bodyweight runs from 258 to 450 grams.
The medical examiner’s report states that Namey was suffering from another significant condition: hypokalemia, or low potassium in his bloodstream. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, hypokalemia is associated with an increased risk of arrhythmia in patients with heart disease and increases the risk for heart failure and cardiovascular failure overall.
Though Namey had a large amount of glucose in his bloodstream, it wasn’t considered to be a significant condition. According to the report, Namey died a natural death.
Specimens have been collected for a toxicology exam to test for drugs and chemicals in the body, but the results are not available at this time.
Alissa Smith is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.