There are many die-hard Ole Miss fans in this state, and right there with the biggest supporters of the Rebels is Stewart Summers. A guy, who even when he took visits to Mississippi St. in high school, would sneak in red and blue pom poms in his back pocket.
Summers was one of the most productive high school quarterbacks in the metro area in recent year. He spent two years as a starter at MRA, and then finished as a senior at Pearl. When he graduated in the spring of 2012, Summers faced the question of where to go to college.
But for a lifelong Rebel was it really a question. Stewart passed on offers to play at smaller colleges and decided to walk-on at Ole Miss. Last fall he began his college career buried on the depth chart, as most walk-ons do, but he was living out his dream. Summers was sharing the same field with the guys he watched every Saturday and wearing the uniform of his favorite team.
On what started as a normal Tuesday last fall (October 2, 2012 to be exact) Summers was going through a standard workout before the team would head out for practice. During the workout his heart began to beat faster than normal, scary, but something that had happened to him multiple times while in high school. Each of those times Summers said he would stop practicing, go cool off and his heart rate would slow down.
This day his heart did not slow down. He eventually went to get checked out by the team physician, Dr. Henry Sherman. Dr. Sherman noticed some irregularities in his pulse and decided they needed to hook him up for an EKG reading.
As this was taking place Stewart Summers went into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating. Dr. Sherman immediately used a nearby AED device (a heart defibrillator) and shocked Stewart back into a normal heart rhythm.
They transported him to Baptist Memorial Health Center in Oxford and then down to UMC in Jackson to see a cardiologist.
Summers was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and the next day went into surgery to have a heart ablation procedure to correct his heart rhythm problems.
Stewart recovered well from the near-death experience and surgery, but there was a new realization. He would have to give up football due to the risk of something like this happening again.
A year after the incident, Stewart Summers is back at Ole Miss as a full-time student this fall and plans to rejoin the team next season, as a student assistant coach.
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