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'Heading in the right direction,' Chiefs staff say of DE BJ Thompson, who went into cardiac arrest

Rick Burkholder June 7 2024.png
Posted at 1:40 PM, Jun 07, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs defensive end BJ Thompson is "heading in the right direction" after suffering a seizure and going into cardiac arrest during a team meeting on Thursday, team officials said Friday.

Rick Burkholder, the team's vice president of sports medicine and performance, confirmed the medical emergency Thompson suffered.

"He had a seizure during a meeting, and then eventually went into cardiac arrest," Burkholder told reporters on Friday.

Chiefs' medical staff provides update on B.J. Thompson

It was Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker who ran toward the team's training staff to notify them about the incident.

Burkholder said team staff attempted to stabilize Thompson as he was having seizures, but the cardiac arrest ensued.

Team staff performed CPR on Thompson, who received one AED shock and was in cardiac arrest for less than a minute and a half.

Burkholder said a diagnosis for Thompson isn't available at this time.

"We don't have a diagnosis, and in medicine sometimes you don't have that," Burkholder said.

Thompson was taken to the University of Kansas Health System and was heavily sedated Thursday and through the night.

He was also placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.

By Friday morning, Thompson was taken out of sedation.

"He's alert, he's awake, and he's coming through quite well," Burkholder said. "He's heading in the absolute right direction."

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid weighed in on the situation, saying he's witnessed something similar before and it doesn't get easier.

"That's a tough situation," Reid said. "We've been through a couple of those before in my time, and it's never fun."

Chiefs' Andy Reid talks after final OTA on June 7