Kansas City,
08:44 AM

Fox 4: Two years after sudden cardiac arrest, Olathe West baseball player signs with Fort Hays State

By Shannon O'Brien

Due to COVID-19, many high schools are not celebrating National Signing Day for students athletes who are committed to playing sports in college.

One local family had a celebration of their own because they said this day almost didn’t happen.

Eighteen-year-old Brennan Connell sat at a table draped with a Fort Hayes State flag and behind him gold and black balloons. Surrounded by his family, the baseball pitcher signed his commitment letter to play baseball for the Tigers.

“I thought it would be a little different than it was, but I’m just glad to be here right now,” Connell said.

Two years ago, Connell, who was pitching for Olathe West, was on a hot streak. He had thrown two balls and two strikes to one of the best players from Blue Valley Southwest when he collapsed on the mound.

“I had a sudden cardiac arrest, which means, it’s like a light switch which is on at one point and then everything just shuts down,” Connell said.

During his two weeks in Children’s Mercy Hospital, much of which was touch and go, Connell told his dad one thing.

“He said I wanna play. I wanna play sports again,” Brian Connell recalled.

“It’s a dream come true,” Connell said. “Every kid dreams about going to the to college for the sport they love.”

The Connells have become advocates for heart checks and urge all families to request a heart screening as part of student athletes’ sports physicals. 


See the full story via Fox 4

Learn more about The Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy