Cooper Taylor breaks silence on injury; rare heart disorder

Posted by ColeyHarvey on October 7, 2009 

Here is my lead note for tomorrow...just talked to Cooper Taylor about the injury the team has been forced to keep mum. Here you go...

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech safety Cooper Taylor talked publicly Wednesday for the first time since sliding into Georgia Tech’s injury report with an undisclosed injury nearly three weeks ago.

The sophomore told reporters after practice that he had been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare heart-rhythm disorder.

“It’s something that happened (before),” Taylor said. “(But) I thought it was from just being out of shape.”

Taylor said he knew something was seriously wrong with him when, during the first quarter of Georgia Tech’s Sept. 17 game against Miami, his heart began to race.

“I got dizzy and blacked out, so I walked off the field, told the doctors and they got it alright,” Taylor said. “It’s something that gets progressively worse the more it happens. But Miami, it happened hard enough or bad enough to where they said they had to get it fixed or I couldn’t play.”

The Friday after the Yellow Jackets’ Thursday night trip to South Florida, Taylor met with doctors at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital who diagnosed him right away with the disorder. The following week, he had surgery — which involves running a catheter from the groin to the heart — to correct the problem.

A starting defensive back figured to factor heavily into the Yellow Jackets’ defensive rotation this preseason, Taylor said he feels much better now and is trying to get back in the mix before the end of the season. Listed as “Out” on Georgia Tech’s latest injury report, it could be several weeks before he is healthy enough to make a full return.

“It’s tough. It’s my first time not traveling and playing every game,” Taylor said. “It’s kind of a weird feeling not being there.”

While not specific to athletes, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome has been a problem recently for Georgia Tech players.

In 2007, brothers Logan and Levi Walls—Levi graduated last year, Logan is a current defensive tackle—were diagnosed with the disease, as well. Logan’s was a much milder condition than Taylor’s and Levi’s, but he was still able to provide Taylor with some perspective.

"I talked to Logan before and after (the procedure)," Taylor said.

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