Cardinals quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens felt dizzy and complained to Carson Palmer and the rest of his quarterbacks of having a tight chest last Thursday at OTAs.
The team’s medical staff, including head athletic trainer Tom Reed and team physician Dr. Wayne Kuhl knew something was wrong, so they transported Kitchens to the Chandler Regional Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with an aortic dissection, which results in massive blood loss, and in most cases, death.
Kitchens was airlifted to Arizona Heart Hospital, where he underwent a near ten-hour surgery to repair his aorta.
Kitchens was released on Monday and has been cleared to resume his recovery at home. He’ll of course have restrictions on his activities, visitors and the like, but the great thing is that he’s home.
Kitchens is grateful that he had quick thinkers around him that were able to diagnose the situation and get him some help before the unthinkable could’ve happened.
“Looking back, I have no doubt – none whatsoever – that I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for those people,” Kitchens said. “I’ve played or coached football my whole life, so I can definitely appreciate teamwork and a smooth, efficient operation, but the work those doctors, nurses and medical personnel do is just incredible.”
“I realize how truly fortunate I am and the blessing I have been given,” Kitchens added.
Kitchens is expected to return to the team – in a limited capacity – sometime during training camp.