UFC heavyweight Del Rosario off life support, breathing on his own after cardiac arrest [UPDATE]

UFC heavyweight Shane del Rosario remains in critical condition following a sudden cardiac arrest.

Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

There is still hope for Shane del Rosario.

Three days after multiple reports emerged that the UFC heavyweight had died, he has shown improvements, though the road is still a long one.

Del Rosario, who had experienced a sudden cardiac arrest Tuesday, is off life support and breathing on his own, his training partner and close friend Erik Apple told Sherdog.com. On Saturday, Ross Finkelstein of The Final Round tweeted that del Rosario has brain activity and squeezed his mother’s hand, facts confirmed by Apple.

“All of these are positive signs. However, we just have to be patient and wait,” Apple said. “These are not definitive signs. They could mean something, or they could mean nothing.”

Del Rosario was found Tuesday at his home by roommate and fellow UFC fighter Ian McCall. He was rushed to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and pronounced to be in “full cardiac arrest,” according to manager Jason House.

The fighter was given Arctic Sun treatment, which lowers the body temperature in an effort to revitalize the organs and brain. Initially, del Rosario did not respond and the family was going to wait until Friday to decide whether or not they would pursue further care.

That same day, some media outlets reported that del Rosario had died, which caused mass confusion on Twitter. Now, it seems he has responded and the waiting game will continue.

On Friday, House revealed that doctors suspect del Rosario could have long QT syndrome, a rare heart rhythm disorder that can lead to sudden death.

The afflication that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats, which could lead to fainting, seizures, or, in some cases, death without warning, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Long QT is treatable, but many people don’t have signs or symptoms. Apple told Sherdog that del Rosario had never been treated previously for a heart ailment.

Tragically, it strikes healthy young people and often is the first and only presentation of a heart problem.

The only way most people know they have the condition is from the results of an electrocardiogram performed for an unrelated reason, because their family has a history of long QT syndrome or because of genetic testing results.

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Updated 2:09pm PT on 11/29

The UFC heavyweight who suffered cardiac arrest Tuesday might have a rare heart rhythm disorder.

Shane del Rosario’s manager, Jason House, wrote on Twitter Friday that doctors are saying the fighter might have long QT syndrome, a genetic mutation that can cause sudden death.

"Shane continues to cling to life at Hoag hospital in Newport Beach, CA," House wrote. "After arriving at the emergency room in full cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning he was resuscitated to stable rhythm and blood pressure, but has not regained consciousness. Doctors believe he may suffer from a rare condition called Long QT Syndrome which is a genetic anomaly that can cause a sudden and life threatening heart rhythm abnormality, and may result in sudden death. Tragically, it strikes healthy young people and often is the first and only presentation of a heart problem."

House told Ariel Helwani on Thursday that doctors were waiting until Friday to see if del Rosario would respond to treatment.

Del Rosario was given Arctic Sun, a medical treatment used to cool the body down in an effort to revitalize the organs and brain. He has not fully responded to it. If that continues, the family could choose not to pursue further care.

House said Thursday that there was a “very, very, very slim chance” del Rosario will survive and that he would need a “a miracle.”

Long QT syndrome is a disorder that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats, which could lead to fainting, seizures, or, in some cases, sudden death, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The disease is treatable, but many people don’t have signs or symptoms. The only way most people know they have the condition is from the results of an electrocardiogram performed for an unrelated reason, because their family has a history of long QT syndrome or because of genetic testing results.

Del Rosario was rushed to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian on Tuesday after roommate Ian McCall, also a UFC fighter, found him at their home, their training partner, Erik Apple, told Sherdog.

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This afternoon, fighters and media alike provided updates on Shane del Rosario’s condition following the UFC heavyweight’s sudden cardiac arrest.

Colin Oyama, trainer to del Rosario, posted a message on his facebook page addressing the situation.

"The Del Rosario family and I, and all of our family, teammates and friends thank everyone for their prayers and support. God has a different path for Shane to take and instead has chosen to take Him away from us to be with his forefathers in Heaven. Yet through all of this our Faith in GOD remains unwavering."

Both fighters and friends of the MMA community continue to support their comrade in this difficult time.

11/27/13 

UFC heavyweight fighter Shane del Rosario suffered a sudden cardiac arrest Tuesday and is currently in critical condition, his manager Jason House confirmed on Twitter.

"€œHe was brought to the hospital in full cardiac arrest,"€ House wrote. "He was resuscitated in the emergency room back to a stable heart rhythm and blood pressure. He is currently in the coronary care unit critically ill. Our prayers are with him and his family."

Del Rosario, 30, is being treated at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif. His trainer, Colin Oyama, posted the following update on Twitter this afternoon, "Shane Del Rosario hanging in there! undergoing Arctic Sun treatment! Keep him in your prayers please!" Arctic Sun is a medical device which helps prevent brain injury in cardiac arrest patients.

Del Rosario was supposed to fight at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, but pulled out of the match up with Guto Inocente due to a rib injury just last week.

The California native, an accomplished Muay Thai competitor, was a top prospect coming over from Strikeforce to the UFC, but has lost his first two fights with the organization. His last bout came last December against Pat Barry. Del Rosario also pulled out of a fight in July with Dave Herman at UFC 162 due to an injury.

In April 2011, del Rosario was involved in a car accident with an alleged drunk driver that kept him out of a fight with Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce. He suffered a herniated disc and other injuries that kept him out for more than a year.

On Wednesday, del Rosario’€™s training partner Erik Apple posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram with the caption: "yesterday my friend had 2 heart attacks and he is still fighting for his life. I got to see him last night and hold his hand and I know he isn’t giving up so we shouldn’t either"€.