Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars made his first public appearance after a cardiac event during Monday’s game vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets, as doctors said his season was over.
“I'd like to thank the number of people who saved my life,” he said. “They all attended to me once I passed out and they saved my life. I will forever be grateful.”
Dr. Robert Dimeff, Sport Medicine Specialist at UT Southwestern, said that Peverley’s season is over. Now comes the next stage of the 31-year-old forward’s recovery.
The current plan, according to Dimeff, is for Peverley to go back to the Cleveland Clinic in Toronto for further treatment on his atrial fibrillation, an ailment affecting the upper chambers of the heart that affects one in every 200 people younger than 60. Dimeff believes Peverley may have played through the genetic heart disorder in the Stanley Cup Final last summer, and then showed up to Dallas camp with it after being traded with Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins.
The next process is to do a definitive procedure which is usually effective, said Dimeff. He said Peverley and his doctors made the decision to try and control the atrial fibrillation with medication and treatment during the season before having surgery in the off-season, which remains the plan. "It's a very minor cardiac abnormality," said Dimeff.
Doctors were unable to determine if Peverley would be able to continue his NHL career.
Here's Peverley and his statement:
Overall, the press conference was another entirely worthy tribute to the medical staffers that responded to the crisis, including for the Dallas Stars and the NHL and their policy of having medical staffers near the benches. In total, it took 14 seconds from the time Peverley went down to doctors working to revive him in the back.
As the conversation turns to the on-ice impact of Peverley's loss, the Stars will have to fill a void here. He skated 15:23 per night and played in all situations, most recently on a top line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. But most of all, he's a character player that can set the tempo of a game.
But that still matters little compared to his health. The press conference, at the very least, offered some optimism.