RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

The Loop

Erik Compton Back in for Surgery

March 17, 2008

Erik Compton, the former University of Georgia All-American and Nationwide Tour player who had a heart transplant in 1992 when he was 12, was scheduled to have an angioplasty in Miami today. Compton hasn't played a tour event since suffering a near-fatal heart attack on Oct. 3. He's on the waiting list for another heart.

"I'm too young to be going through this," says Compton. "But I have to [go through another transplant]. This is the only shot I've got."

Compton, who was diagnosed with congestive cardiomyopathy at age 9, was fishing in Miami last October when he suffered the hear attack that led him to drive himself to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he collapsed on the doorstep. Because he'd received the transplant at Jackson Memorial some 15 years earlier, Compton's medical history was familiar to the hospital's staff.

He was diagnosed with a blockage in the left main coronary artery supplying blood to the heart--a condition sometimes referred to  as "the widow maker," since a complete blockage often leads to a massive heart attack frequently resulting in death. According to Jim McLean, Compton's swing instructor, at one point during the ordeal he called his mother, Eli, to say goodbye.

Successful surgery was performed, and now he's hoping to get a new heart.