Fresno State football player talks about heat stroke, recovery

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A Fresno State football player is recovering-- but not yet recovered-- from a bout with heat stroke that knocked him comatose for two days. (KFSN)

A Fresno State football player is recovering-- but not yet recovered-- from a bout with heatstroke that knocked him comatose for two days.

"I don't remember a lot about being in the hospital, about passing out, about being in the hospital," said Shane Gama, who collapsed during a team workout on July 15.

The kid Enrique Gama saw in a Fresno hospital looked nothing like the young man he'd seen on the playing field so many times.

"You know, healthy strong, everything and now you see him there helpless and not himself," he said of seeing his son in the hospital for the first time.

Shane Gama is a 20-year-old who weighs more than 300 pounds and earned second team all-conference honors last year as a junior college offensive lineman.

But his organs overheated when he suffered heat stroke during Fresno State strength and conditioning workouts. At that point, he was just struggling to survive.

Two days later, he emerged from a coma. A week after that, he's approaching normal.

"I feel good," he said. "I mean, I was released Friday, and Saturday and Sunday were pretty tough - kind of nausea-wise and just not feeling like myself."

Football nearly took his life. But the game is part of Shane's DNA, and always at the front of his mind.

"When he came to, the first thing he said to us is 'Did I miss practice'," said Enrique Gama.

Heat stroke is the worst kind of heat illness and it can sneak up on you. Doctors said you might notice a headache; dizziness; a lack of sweating; red, hot, and dry skin; muscle weakness or cramps; nausea and vomiting; a rapid heartbeat which may be strong or weak; rapid, shallow breathing;, behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering; seizures; or unconsciousness.

Drinking fluids can help prevent heat stroke, but you need to start before practice does.

Shane's advice for players: If you feel bad, don't be afraid to tell your coach.
Since his collapse, the Fresno State athletic department tells us it's "reviewing the policies and practices of team workout and conditioning sessions."

But as his teammates prepare for full practices next week in triple digit heat, Shane wants to be there -- in uniform -- as soon as possible.

"Do you think you're getting back on the field?" an Action News reporter asked him.

"I hope," he said. "I mean, you know, it's the game that I love, so I'd love to get back on the field, but that's something I have to talk to my school doctors about."

The Gamas have also set up a GoFundMe account to help with their expenses as they tend to his care in Fresno.

Click here if you're interested in helping out.
Related Topics:
sportsfresno statefresno state bulldogscollege footballfresnoFresno StateFresno - Northeast
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