California Freshman Tierra Rogers Diagnosed with Heart Condition

Oct. 1, 2009


University of California freshman forward Tierra Rogers, whoearned high school All-America honors at Sacred Heart Prep in San Francisco,has been diagnosed with a rare heart condition discovered this week and hashad a defibrillator implanted to manage it.

Doctors at UC San Francisco Medical Center found that Rogers hasArrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia or ARVD, and cardiac specialistsat UCSF performed the procedure on Rogers Thursday.

'This is obviously devastating news for Tierra and her family,' saidCalifornia women's basketball coach Joanne Boyle. 'We are here to stand byher 100 percent with whatever she needs. Obviously, basketball was a veryprecious part of her life, but she has a higher purpose here than just beinga basketball player, and her health and well-being are our primary concern.Right now, she can really use all the support and prayers she can get tohelp her through these trying times.'

Rogers first experienced labored breathing following a conditioning workoutwith her Cal teammates at Haas Pavilion on Monday, Sept. 21. She wasimmediately attended to by Cal Athletics medical personnel. While undercare, Rogers collapsed just outside the Haas training room, where upon a 911call was placed and she was taken by ambulance to Alta Bates Medical Center.Rogers remained at Alta Bates for a week for both observation and diagnostictesting.

Once doctors determined her condition was cardiac related, Rogers wastransferred to UCSF Monday for further testing. On Wednesday, tests revealedthat Rogers suffered from ARVD.

'I am saddened that I was diagnosed with this disease,' Rogers said. 'But Ifeel God has given me a second chance at life. With the support of myfamily, coaching staff and teammates, I will be able to get through this.'

According to Dr. Brad Buchman, medical director of University HealthServices at Cal and interim head team physician for the Athletic Department,arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), also calledarrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), while rare, is oneof the most common causes of sudden cardiac death in young adult athletes.It can cause altered muscle function and abnormal electrical rhythms in thewall of the right ventricle that can often produce palpitations, fainting,chest pain and shortness of breath. In some patients, sudden cardiac deathis the initial presentation of the disease, he said.

In addition to the possibility of causing sudden cardiac death, in somepatients, ARVD can become progressive, and produce worsening heart functionover time, Buchman said. Interventions aimed at minimizing risks to patientswith ARVD include early placement of an internal cardiac defibrillator,activity restriction, close medical monitoring, and additional medicaltherapies when indicated, he said.

A member of Cal's highly-touted incoming freshman class, Rogers was named aMcDonald's All-American and Parade Magazine second-team All-American as asenior at Sacred Heart Prep in 2009. Rogers helped Sacred Heart to statechampionships in 2006, '07 and '08, including perfect 32-0 seasons in 2007and '08.

Given the risks associated with ARVD, Rogers has been declared medicallyineligible to resume basketball participation.

Rogers is likely to be discharged from UCSF Medical Center in the next fewdays.

Now on Pac-12 Network
2:00 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
Get Pac-12 Networks
Unable to get Pac-12 Network?
Contact your provider ▶
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder