Deceased former Levante and Real Zaragoza forward had pacemaker that would have saved life removed

The tragic passing of former Levante, Real Zaragoza and Cameroon forward Raphael Dwamena was aware that he was risking his life by playing football, according to his former doctor.

Dwamena collapsed during a game while playing for Egnatia in Albania, and unfortunately could not be revived. The 28-year-old passed due to a cardiac arrest derived from a heart arrhythmia.

His former Cardiologist Antonio Asso has explained to Heraldo de Aragon, as carried by Diario AS, that Dwamena was aware of this risk. His heart condition was known about during his time in Spain, and Asso had him fitted with a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat. Despite this, he did not retire, as was the case with Sergio Aguero two years ago, but instead continued to play football.

“A couple of years ago, they told me that the pacemaker had saved his life when he had a malignant arrhythmia that had been correctly treated, automatically, by the device. We had subsequently lost contact. A year ago I learned from the press that he had requested the removal of the defibrillator implanted by us and that it had finally been explanted (I think in Switzerland). It was already too late, his decision was irrevocable and he placed all his responsibility on himself and on the will of the God, in which he believed. From that moment I was aware that one day the tragedy that occurred on Saturday on a soccer field in Albania could happen.”

He had a 12-year career in football, including two years in Spain at Levante and Real Zaragoza. Internationally, he would make eight appearances for Ghana, scoring twice.