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Matthew Hammerdorfer Dies: Rugby Player Collapses During Match, Dies From Cardiac Arrest

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A Colorado coroner says a 17-year-old who collapsed during a rugby match died from cardiac arrest caused by a congenital heart defect.

Players say Matthew Hammerdorfer collapsed Saturday afternoon during a match after being hit in the chest. Larimer County deputy coroner Kari Jones says Hammerdorfer had three heart surgeries because of his heart condition, but she says the hit to the chest didn't contribute to his death.

Authorities say Hammerdorfer wasn't breathing when emergency crews arrived at the site of the match in Timnath, about 60 miles north of Denver. He was pronounced dead after he was flown to a Fort Collins hospital.

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