An arterial heart ailment prompted the heart attack that killed 27-year-old Ecuadorian football player Christian “Chucho” Benitez in Qatar, doctors have said.
The condition, which involved a flawed coronary artery, was discovered following an in-depth autopsy on the athlete in Ecuador by the national team’s physician. It puts to rest media speculation that Benitez’s death had something to do with playing in Qatar’s heat.
Acknowledging that Benitez had passed a number of medical checkups, including one last month in Doha, Dr. Patricio Maldonado told AP that the athlete’s heart problems would not have been detected “even with very sophisticated exams.” He added:
“Medical science is not 100 percent effective, and we are left with painful incidents such as this.”
The athlete was rushed to Al Ahli hospital with severe stomach pain last week, hours after making his debut with El Jaish. There, he went into cardio-respiratory arrest and died.
Benitez, who had signed a three-year, $15.4 million contract with El Jaish last month, was buried in Ecuador on Friday, after thousands of people thronged a public service in his honor.
Credit: Photo courtesy of El Jaish on Twitter