It would have been a good story, the kind of ending you might get in a Hollywood movie. Alas, it was not to be as the Dallas Cowboys released defensive tackle Amobi Okoye today. Okoye was trying to make it back from a life-threatening disease that put him in a coma at one point. The Cowboys had signed Okoye last May but he never made it past just being on the roster. He spent the year on the non-football injury list.
The disease Okoye faced was rare and devastating.
Okoye was a free agent in March of 2013 when he suffered a seizure after a workout. He lost his speech and was shuttled to three different hospitals over the next four days as doctors rushed to determine what was wrong.
It was soon determined that Okoye had contracted anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, an autoimmune syndrome that was first identified in 2007 and is potentially fatal. Those stricken with the unusual disease experience brain inflammation brought on by antibodies interfering with cell communication and causing neuronal damage.
Perhaps that was just too much to overcome although just getting back to working out with an NFL team should be considered a major accomplishment. Okoye had previously played with the Texans and the Bears.