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21-Year-Old Mixed Martial Artist Drops During a Fight - Sudden Cardiac Event Expected to Leave Him Brain Damaged

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A young mixed martial arts fighter has been hospitalized after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match.

Isaiah Abels, 21, was fighting at a Southern Indiana Combat event in Evansville, Indiana, on March 4 when he suffered the medical emergency, according to Cageside Press, a website that focuses on mixed martial arts.

Abels’ twin brother, Zach Abels, explained what happened in a Facebook post.

After having won the first round, Abels moved on to the second round where he attempted a takedown of his opponent.

He continued to pressure his opponent, Zach Abels wrote, but collapsed to his knees after taking a step forward.

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Initially, the referee failed to realize what was happening, Zach Abels wrote.

However, the fight was eventually stopped and CPR was performed on Abels in the ring.

“They got his heart going as they assisted his breathing. We rushed to the hospital. A hour or so later Isaiah was stabilized,” Zach Abels wrote.

He added, “I don’t know what you believe in, but the fear of God was put into all of us last night. Words can’t even describe. I’m grateful for everyone praying and thinking about him, but I really wanna thank the medical professionals along with God.”

“Again, I don’t know to what degree you believe in God, but please continue to keep Isaiah in your thoughts and prayers. Please, God. Please everyone. Please. I love you Isaiah Lee,” he wrote.

A GoFundMe page was started by a friend of the family to pay for Abels’ medical bills. As of about 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, it had received $13,150 of its $50,000 goal.

According to the fundraiser, Abels was initially put on a ventilator to assist him with his breathing because he couldn’t fully breathe on his own.

In an update posted Wednesday, the friend who organized the GoFundMe page wrote that after Abels had not woken up after three days, an MRI was conducted and revealed that Abels had suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen to the brain that lasted three to five minutes.

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On Friday, Abels underwent a tracheotomy “to prepare him for travel” as the family plans to return home to Fort Wayne, another update stated.

According to an update posted Saturday, the family is now waiting for insurance approval to transfer Abels to a long-term care facility in Muncie, Indiana, which it said is the closest one to Fort Wayne and where the “best care” is available.

The fundraiser states his father, mother, sister and twin brother have stayed by his side during this time.

While Abels is still unresponsive, he occasionally opens his eyes.

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