ROSWELL, Ga. — The father of an 18-year-old star quarterback has revealed that he suffered from a rare, undetected condition before his death four months ago.
Robbie Roper, Roswell High School’s quarterback, died on Dec. 22 just over a week after he had shoulder surgery.
His father, James Roper, told USA Today that his son suffered from a genetic condition called urea cycle disorders (UCD), which causes elevated blood ammonia levels. Roper said his son was not diagnosed with UCD until after he got sick.
The disorder can disrupt the urea cycle and lead to the accumulation of ammonia and a toxic response by the immune system.
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The Roper family’s attorney, Patrick Moore, told USA Today that UCD can be set off by medications or situations related to a surgical procedure, including the use of anesthesia.
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James Roper told the newspaper that he didn’t reveal his son’s cause of death sooner because he “wanted him remembered as a perfect kid.”
Coaches said Roper. who wore a #5 jersey, was an “A” student while leading his team to the playoffs and winning Region 5 7A offensive player of the year.
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