JJ Watt, the defensive end for the National Football League (NFL) team the Arizona Cardinal, announced his retirement on Tuesday, December 27. Watt shared the news with his followers on Twitter along with a photo of his wife, Kealia Watt, and newborn son Koa James Watt, from the Cardinal’s last week match against Tampa.
“Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure,” the 33-year-old wrote.
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Watt’s retirement is due to a rare heart condition called Atrial fibrillation. He was first diagnosed with it on September 29, 2022, and according to reports, he needed shock treatment to get his heart back into normal rhythm.
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The Daily Mail says that Watt came to know that the news would be leaked soon, and hence made it public on his own.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Artificial fibrillation is a rare disease of the heart. It causes abnormal heart rhythm – either irregular or increased heartbeat, that could potentially cause blood clots in the heart leading to heart attacks and strokes.
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In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart beat out of coordination with the ventricles. While the condition may not always show symptoms, when it does, they include exhaustion, shortness of breath, and palpitations.
Watt has been a terrific footballer over the years. He has received the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times in his first five seasons in the NFL.
The Cardinals will surely miss him when the next season starts.