Raphael Dwamena’s cardiologist has disclosed that the striker decided to have his defibrillator removed one year prior to collapsing and passing away on the field.
The 28-year-old died on Saturday following a heart arrest in the 24th minute of a KF Egnatia vs. Partizani Albanian league match.
After being taken to the hospital quickly, Dwamena was not able to be revived.
Dr. Antonio Asso, Dwamena’s cardiologist, has recently disclosed information on the player’s cardiac ailment. He said that it was a “serious ventricular arrhythmia” and that the player had a defibrillator implanted before deciding to have it removed on a “personal decision.”
“He died as a result of a respectable personal decision,” said Asso, as per Spanish outlet Sport. “But if the defibrillator had not been explanted, Raphael would still be alive.”
Speaking on the player’s original finding of a cardiac condition, he described how he counseled the man to give up playing football professionally and how, on one occasion, the defibrillator had saved his life.
“We managed to convince him of the imperative need to implant a defibrillator to at least guarantee his life, at the same time that we advised against practicing professional sports,” he added.
“A couple of years ago they told me that the defibrillator had saved his life when he had a malignant arrhythmia that had been correctly treated automatically by the device. We subsequently lost contact.
“From that moment on, I was aware that one day the tragedy that occurred on Saturday on a soccer field in Albania would happen.”
He described Dwamena as a “great and noble boy,” adding that he had “ended hope of influencing him” but was “determined to follow his professional career.”
Dwamena, who leads the Albanian Super League in goals scored this season with nine, played eight games for Ghana, netting two goals.
Before being loaned out to Zaragoza, where he played in 2019–20, he signed with Levante in 2018 and played for them for one season. Throughout his career, he also lived briefly in Denmark, Spain, and Switzerland.
An official statement from the Ghana FA following his death read: “The Ghana Football Association is sad to hear of the death of our former player Raphael Dwamena and wish to express our deepest condolences to his family at this difficult moment.”
Albanian officials are currently looking into the circumstances surrounding the striker’s death. Raphael Dwamena scored twice in nine Black Stars appearances.