• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: After myocarditis diagnosis, soccer player is back on the field

October 28, 2018

When myocarditis hit his heart, Drew Beckie was told his professional soccer career was over. But a cardiac specialist at Mayo Clinic took another look, and today Drew is back to the game he loves.Professional soccer player Drew Beckie on the fieldProfessional soccer player Drew Beckie was visiting a friend in Stockholm, Sweden, in December 2017 when he began feeling ill.

"I landed on Tuesday, and by Saturday, I was feeling so bad that I didn't feel like doing anything," Drew says. "I had flu-like symptoms, bad stomach pain, night sweats."

Drew thought he likely picked up a bug on his flight, but by Sunday, things seemed to be turning around. The 27-year-old Canadian native recalls feeling "really fantastic, actually — ready to go out." But it didn't last. After breakfast that morning, Drew was hit hard with pain.

"The pain was so intense. It started in my back and then moved to my chest," he says. "My arms went numb. My jaw went numb. I knew something was really wrong."

Drew was taken to a local hospital, where doctors found his troponin levels were significantly elevated. Troponin is protein that's released from inside cardiac muscles cells when they die, often because of a blocked artery.

Although it felt like he was having a heart attack, Drew learned he had fulminant myocarditis. The disorder often is the result of a viral infection that triggers inflammation of the heart muscle. Treatment runs the gamut from bedrest to corticosteroids or immunosuppressant medications. Some patients require a heart transplant. Read the rest of the article.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.