Our buddy Mark Blankenbaker from TheCrunchzone.com has finally gotten to share what he knows about former Cardinal Amobi Okoye, and a health problem that nearly costed him his life. To be honest, I had no idea that Okoye was going through any of this. Out of respect for Okoye’s family, Mark did not share this story. Finally on Thursday night, national media released information about it, so Mark finally felt ok with sharing what he knew. Here is an excerpt of what he wrote. At the bottom, you will find the link to read the rest of the story on thecrunchzone.com.
In the Spring of 2013, the day Louisville Basketball was triumphant in their Elite 8 match-up versus Duke and Kevin Ware stole national attention in Indianapolis, Amobi Okoye was on his way to the Houston Airport for a vacation with friends and family in Miami. A seizure struck. The trip was cancelled. It was the 2nd of a series of seizures for Okoye, the 1st of which came after a workout with former Louisville Linebacker Malik Jackson. Okoye was intent on getting into the best shape of his career following the 2012 season with the Chicago Bears and was a trim 285 pounds.
The 2nd seizure sent him to the hospital. Disoriented, confused. Amobi was a big man without control of his mind, a far cry from the youngest player to ever be Drafted and play in the NFL. A brilliant mind who turned down Harvard & medical school was now adrift.
He frightened his nurses. Aggressive behavior followed by seizures rampaged through Okoye’s body, at one point medical staff came into Amobi’s hospital room to find him standing on his bed and he couldn’t tell them why. This wasn’t Amobi Okoye, this was a reaction to an extremely rare condition known as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis which causes seizures & memory issues. Close friends and family kept the news about the condition private. When the decision came down to place Okoye in a medically induced coma to calm the symptoms, holding the news in became even worse.