(RepublicanJournal.org) – A soccer player who previously represented Ghana on the international stage has died after collapsing mid-game on the playing field. The young man had a pre-existing heart condition, but his love for the game kept him playing despite the risks. He was only 28 years old.
Raphael Dwamena, a former striker for Ghana who had been playing for Egnatia in the Albanian Super League, collapsed during a game against Partizani. He received immediate medical aid as other players hurried over, but according to the Ghana Football Association’s statement, the young player died only minutes later at a nearby hospital.
The game was only 24 minutes in when Dwamena went down, but the two teams didn’t continue in his absence. Each side had scored a single point, ending the match in a tie.
Ghana Web states that Dwamena first learned about his condition when he failed a medical exam for Brighton, England’s team in 2018. He went on to play for Lavente, which loaned him out to Zaragoza, but that team ended his contract in 2019, upon the advice of its doctor after he failed another medical exam.
The desperate athlete had a cardioverter defibrillator — a device that monitors the heart and shocks it back into rhythm if it detects anything abnormal — implanted in 2020, and the Danish team Vejle Boldklub hired him. He lost that contract only two months later when doctors found continuing problems with his heart.
Austrian team BW Linz took a chance on him in 2021, but he had his first heart attack that year in November, about 20 minutes into a game while standing on the sideline. He backed away from the sport once more, but his passion for playing was too great, and in December 2022, he joined Egnatia.
Dwamena had been the league’s top scorer so far this season, boasting a total of twelve goals and one assist.
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