After Elmhurst University won their first game over Birmingham Southern College, sophomore defensemen Thomas Smyth yelled, “This one’s for you, Nate,” for teammate Nathan McGuire, who suffered a stroke after attending a team film session on Jan. 31.
McGuire had lost control and movement in his face. At first fellow teammate Ethan Castillo thought McGuire was joking around and making a weird face like he usually does, being known as the team jokester.
Once Castillo realized it was something serious, he went and got the athletic trainers Kayla Johnson and Joe Mattingly. After a series of questions as they tried to figure out what was happening, Johnson proceeded to drive McGuire to the Elmhurst Hospital with Head Coach Mark Morrell quickly following.
At the Elmhurst Hospital, Morrell stayed by McGuire’s side the entire night as they ran multiple tests, including a CT scan. The scan revealed that there was a small blood clot in his brain. At first, it was unclear as to why this occurred.
Then, just 30 minutes later, McGuire miraculously returned to his normal “positive” self.
The doctors, shocked and confused, sent him back to get another CT scan, which still revealed a small blood clot.
McGuire was then transferred to Edwards Hospital in Naperville, Ill. to their stroke unit. Once there he was put in the ICU to be monitored overnight. Morrell stayed with McGuire until his mom arrived from Florida.
After running several more tests at Edwards Hospital, it was revealed that McGuire had a hole in his heart.
McGuire was allowed to go home and flew back to San Diego, Calif. to see his doctor. Back in San Diego, McGuire got a transthoracic echocardiogram and was given a phone and heart monitor to wear for a month.
After the month is completed, the doctors will look through the data on his heart; then McGuire will receive super noninvasive heart surgery. McGuire is now back in Elmhurst, Ill. in positive spirits as he continues the recovery process.
“After the surgery, I should be fine to start doing normal stuff again,” said McGuire.
Throughout this time, his team and coaches visited, reached out, and supported McGuire throughout the whole process, showing him consistent love and support, and dedicating this lacrosse season to McGuire.