Umpire stricken by heart attack

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

Troy native and umpire Bruce Matthews suffered a heart attack Wednesday night after calling a Dixie Pre-Majors district tournament game in Opp.

Matthews began to feel the heart attack coming during the game and the attack happened when he was changing out of his gear after the game, according to fellow umpire and family friend Dan Capps.

&uot;After the ball game when he was changing he was hit by a heart attack,&uot; Capps said. &uot;He was taken to a hospital in Opp and was air lifted to Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan.&uot;

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When he got to Dothan, Matthews underwent the installation of a catheter and two stints to stabilize his heart.

Early Thursday afternoon Matthews was in stable condition and resting comfortably, according to Capps.

He was in the coronary care unit for at least the last 24 hours and Capps said the doctors hope to move him to a regular room sometime tonight.

No matter what room he is in, Capps said he would have the support of family and friends.

&uot;There have been an awful lot of his friends and family visiting him here at the hospital,&uot; Capps said.

Capps rushed to the hospital in Dothan when he heard what had happened, he left early Thursday morning and came back later Thursday. No matter what time Capps came through the hospital there has been a big group of people at the hospital.

&uot;This waiting room was full last night with people who care about Bruce,&uot; Capps said. &uot;And many of his family and friends have either called him or come to see him.&uot;

Capps said there was no hesitation to be at his friend’s side.

&uot;I am some sort of umpire, but I have real good friends in Bruce Matthews and his wife Rexanne,&uot; Capps said. &uot;He is a very well thought of and respected gentleman in the Troy community. We are just asking people to pray for Bruce and his family.&uot;