My initial reaction to this news was sadness for Lotulelei, because his draft stock is probably going to drop as a result of the finding that his left ventricle was operating at only 44 percent efficiency, and well below the 55-70 percent efficiency that is considered normal.
Wrapped up in the hoopla of the combine and the upcoming draft in April, I was thinking inside the bubble of positional rankings and whose stock was falling and rising. But in retrospect, I should have been focusing on the human element, and how his life outside of football would be impacted.
Heart-related conditions need to be taken seriously; finding out about this condition now, rather than at a point in life when it’s too little or too late, is absolutely a blessing in disguise for Lotulelei. Regardless of where he ends up getting drafted – I still believe he will be a top-10 pick – addressing this condition and taking medication or undergoing a procedure to correct the left ventricle will prevent an early and untimely death.
I’m not a doctor, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but the worst thing you can do is let things fester or go unresolved. This may cost him a couple million dollars on draft day, but I’m thinking Lotulelei will be more than happy with the discovery, considering he is correcting a defective ticker.
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt