Cunningham’s recovery deemed remarkable, was ‘almost certain to die’ without ECMO

Dec 20, 2016, 1:42 PM
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)...
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Something happened on the ice in mid-November that makes people forget all about sports: A player had collapsed.

It was Craig Cunningham who went down just before the puck dropped between the Tucson Roadrunners and Manitoba Moose at the Tucson Convention Center.

With no warning and everyone’s minds focused solely on the game, the Roadrunners’ captain simply collapsed and moments later was having CPR performed on him.

According to the Roadrunners, if Cunningham didn’t receive a very specific therapy, he likely wouldn’t be here today.

“Most patients who need ECMO are almost certain to die without this level of support,” the release said.

ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, and it is a procedure that circulates blood and acts like an artificial lung. But even with the ECMO treatment, his condition was continuing to worsen.

According to the release, “a new procedure developed by Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, using a left ventricular assist device, Oxy-LVAD, allowed Cunningham’s heart to recover.”

So it seems Cunningham is going to be OK, and he is well enough now that he is scheduled to speak at a news conference Wednesday at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus



Clayton Keller Autographed Hockey Stick

Register below for your chance to win an Autographed Clayton Keller Hockey Stick Follow @Anthony987sport
3 months ago
Devin Booker #1, Chris Paul #3, and Torrey Craig #12 of the Phoenix Suns take a moment later in the...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns run it back with Torrey Craig in no-brainer acquisition

The Phoenix Suns brought back Torrey Craig at the trade deadline, a move that makes all the sense in the world.
8 months ago
Arizona Sports

Panthers’ Sam Darnold getting MRI on shoulder ahead of Cardinals game

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is getting an MRI on his shoulder, head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Monday.
11 months ago
Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green runs through drills during practice Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Te...
Arizona Sports

Reports: Cardinals’ A.J. Green, Demetrius Harris placed on COVID-19 list

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly placed wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Demetrius Harris on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
11 months ago

Return of the Hottest Tickets

1 year ago
Arizona Sports

Cards-Vikes Relateds

Follow @AZSports
1 year ago
Cunningham’s recovery deemed remarkable, was ‘almost certain to die’ without ECMO