Antony Hobbs Father Reaches out to Garrett Uekman's Family


    Garrett Uekman

    (KATV) Little Rock - We now know 19-year old Razorback Garrett Uekman died from an undetected fatal heart condition. The Washington County Coroner says he believes Uekman had an enlarged heart caused by cardiomyopathy. Uekman was found unconscious Sunday morning in his dorm room.

    We've covered several tragic stories about young athletes dying from undetected heart problems. In 2008 you might recall 16-year old Antony Hobbs collapsed during a basketball game at Parkview High School and later died.

    This will be the Hobbs family third Thanksgiving without Antony and his birthday is Saturday, November 26.

    During this difficult time for the Uekman family, the Hobbs family knows exactly what they're going through.

    Antony Hobbs II says, "I remember him as being a hard worker, he tried his best to be the best in whatever he did. We did everything together."

    Antony can now smile with pride when talking about his best friend, his son but his eyes are sad. His son, Antony Hobbs III passed every physical and an x-ray didn't detect a heart condition. "You never would think a kid 6-foot-9, healthy, strong and just beginning to bloom would go down on the court from a heart condition."

    Saturday, 19-year old Razorback tight end Garrett Uekman played in front of 55,000 fans at War Memorial, one day later-he died in his dorm room also of an enlarged heart.

    Antony says, "It makes me relive my memory and I definitely send my condolences out to the Uekman family because I definitely am one who knows what they're going through. I do feel their pain."

    Antony says one more medical test could have saved these bright young athletes and others still have a chance. He explains, "I'd like for the Governor to make it mandatory to have an echocardiogram included in the physicals. That way you can detect if a student athlete has an enlarged heart and I'm sure if a student had an enlarged heart, the parents and the coach would not let the student athlete play."

    Each year, 450,000 adults and almost 7,000 children lose their lives to sudden cardiac arrest. Parents can take their children to have an echocardiogram test at a hospital to find out if they have an enlarged heart.

    Antony says the Uekman's are more than welcomed to reach out to him.

    Since his son's death, the Antony Hobbs III Act was created making it possible for every school in the state to have at least one defibrillator on site. They've been credited for saving the lives of athletes, an umpire and spectators.

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