Former Horizon High School and Arizona State quarterback Jeff Krohn could be released from a Cleveland hospital as early as today after undergoing emergency openheart surgery last week to repair a birth-related defect in his aorta.
Krohn, 24, transferred from ASU and finished his career at the University of Massachusetts, where he threw for 2,961 yards and 28 touchdowns last season. He signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in February and was headed to NFL Europe to play with the Berlin Thunder when doctors noticed heart abnormalities in his annual checkup. Within days, doctors at The Cleveland Clinic performed the surgery.
According to a Web site report updated daily by his father, former University of Arizona and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jim Krohn, doctors said Jeff Krohn was very lucky the defect was finally detected and that he survived with the condition until it was found.
"There were some scary moments, but he’s coming around well now and on the recovery trail,’’ said Doug Shaffer, Krohn’s football coach at Horizon. "Apparently, it’s something that was always there and just never detected.’’
The family was not available for comment beyond the Web site. The surgery was performed on March 31, and Krohn spent five days in intensive care as doctors worked to regulate his stubborn blood pressure. His weight dropped from 217 to 195 pounds and the surgery left him with a 12-inch scar on his upper back.
Three times named all-city and all-region at Horizon, Krohn made 20 starts at quarterback for ASU in 2000 and 2001, throwing for 3,693 yards and 31 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. When Andrew Walter took over the spot in 2002, Krohn transferred to UMass.