August 04, 2011
Unfortunately, the seizure suffered by Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson(notes) during Wednesday's practice has a more frightening cause than originally thought. When we first ran the story, it was originally thought that dehydration was a probable cause of the seizure. That's not the case; Patterson has been diagnosed with a brain arteriovenous malformation, which is a tangle of blood vessels in his skull. The diagnosis was first announced by Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder.
AVM is a congenital condition that will require either surgery or radiation; the Eagles are consulting various specialists before deciding on a course of action. Patterson is still at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., where he was taken after the seizure.
"We are very grateful for everyone's prayers and support," Patterson's agent, JR Rickett, said in a statement on Wednesday. "Mike will be back at practice as soon as the doctors clear him."
The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Patterson, the Eagles' first-round pick in 2005, started shaking violently before falling to the ground at the team's Bethlehem, Pa., training facility. Head coach Andy Reid called to the team's medical staff immediately, and it was helped by rookie guard Danny Watkins(notes), a longtime volunteer fireman.
Patterson was on the ground for about 10 minutes before paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital, which brings up a separate question — with compressed timeframes in this preseason, and players working out on their own through the four-month lockout, why doesn't the NFL have an EMT at every team facility for every practice?
According to the Twitter news updates from the team's official site on Thursday morning, Patterson's seizure wasn't football-related — because of Patterson's condition, it could have happened anywhere. There is no current confirmation of what treatment Patterson will receive, how long it will take for him to recover, or what that may mean to his football career.
Patterson is currently taking medication to prevent another seizure; he is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday and will return to his home in New Jersey.
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