After health scare, Doug Kramer calls on PBA to include 2D Echo tests in players' physicals
Phoenix center Doug Kramer suffered a mild stroke while working out at home last month, an incident that led doctors to find out that he had a congenital hole in his heart. Jaime Campos

ILLNESS can indeed strike even to athletes who are in the pink of health.

Doug Kramer was the latest example after he suffered a mild stroke while working out at home last month, an incident that led doctors to find out that he had a congenital hole in his heart – a few weeks before getting traded to Phoenix.

In a lengthy post on his social media accounts on Wednesday, hours before their PBA Philippine Cup opening game against Blackwater, the 33-year-old big man revealed his condition, saying he underwent surgery to close the hole in his heart less than a week later.

Kramer eased worries of everyone saying he is still hoping to return late in the all-Filipino conference, although it’s more likely that he’ll make his comeback in the Commissioner’s Cup.

“God is really good. My doctors told me that I’m improving very fast. I’m not injured. I’m just resting, so early next year, I’m excited to join them,” Kramer said.

“All-Filipino is my favorite conference because I’ll be able to contribute a lot more than the other conferences,” he added.

The 6-foot-5 slotman is now raising awareness of the danger of undiagnosed heart ailments, urging fellow PBA players to take the same 2D echo heart test he took to be safe than sorry in the future.

“I’m a picture of health. I’m a guy who takes care of my body – and it happened to me. What more form the people who don’t take care of their bodies,” the nine-year PBA veteran out of Ateneo said.

“Some players have already asked me about the procedure, but are just afraid to know. But I said you would rather find out and treat it rather than it’s too late and something happened,” he added.

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Kramer also asked the league to require the players to do the test as a precaution.

“I heard they’ve already done steps or probably confirmed that because of also what happened to Gilbert Bulawan kasi he had an enlarged heart,” Kramer said, referring to the late Blackwater big man, who passed away after collapsing in practice a few months ago.

“Hoping everything will push through,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos