Seward County CC athlete fights for his life after heart virus

Published: Sep. 20, 2020 at 9:54 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - One Seward County Community College basketball player is battling for his life tonight.

Starting as just a fever and a racing heartbeat, ten days later Surakata Jawara is in a Kansas City hospital while doctors work to figure out his future.

Surakata’s brother Abu Jawara said, “When I saw him when I first walked in, I was just so devastated. And when the doctors just explained everything to me, all I just saw was like water. My eyes just watered because I just couldn’t believe it.”

That’s how Jawara reacted seeing his brother, Surakata, in the hospital not knowing exactly what was wrong.

Surakata is a 20-year-old Seward County Community College basketball player trying to decide which D-1 school he wanted to continue playing at. But on Sept. 12 he was rushed to the emergency room in Liberal.

Seward County Community College basketball coach Jason Sautter said, “Everything we were being told is he might have potentially a couple days to live if he doesn’t get the treatment that he needed.”

So Jawara was flown to the Kansas Medical Center in Andover but they then realized Jawara needed more serious treatment and airlifted him to St. Luke’s in Kansas City.

“Basically he had a virus that was eating away at his heart,” said Sautter. “And it wasn’t allowing to pump as much blood needed for his other organs such as his kidneys and liver and those have taken a hit so he’s on dialysis.”

Abu says at first Surakata couldn’t speak or open his eyes. Now he’s slowly improving but the damage done to his heart and organs is irreversible.

“That adds on to the stress level and that makes you wonder with all this going on, I have to pay this, I have to pay that. No one should be thinking about bills and stuff,” said Abu.

A heart transplant might be necessary but doctors are still evaluating Jawara in the ICU. Coach Sautter created a GoFundMe page for Jawara’s parents who emigrated from Africa to New York City and speak little English; all to help with growing medical expenses.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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