Heart Virus Blamed For High School Baseball Star's Death
New information about the mysterious death of a Kenosha Baseball star. Sam Schissel died just one day before his 19th birthday. Video by tmj4.comvideo
KENOSHA - The family of former Bradford pitching ace Sam Schissel is planning for a big funeral at the high school this Thursday. While they work on that celebration of Sam's life, they now have some answers about what caused his unexpected death.
Kenosha County Medical Examiner Dr. Mark Witeck told TODAY'S TMJ4 that an autopsy reveals Sam contracted a virus that attacked his heart. Although he had seen a doctor just one day before his death, Witeck believes the virus would have been very difficult to detect.
Sam's summer baseball team, the Kenosha Merchants, will pay tribute to their fallen teammate. There will be a moment of silence and teammates will wear a patch in his honor at their Thursday game against Racine Kiwanis. The contest at Horlick Field starts at 7:00.
The public funeral will be Thursday at the Kenosha Bradford High School auditorium. Viewing will take place from 2:30-5:30. The service will follow immediately after at 6:00.
Sam's father Jim Schissel is trying to make sense of how his son collapsed and died at home after a ten-day illness.
"At least we know," he said. "He went into cardiac arrest, suffered a heart attack that he could not be brought back from."
It's frightening for Sam's baseball buddy Matt Soderlund. He is stunned that an athlete who led his team to a state title just one year ago could lose his life to what seemed like a minor bout with the flu.
"I was supposed to play ball against him yesterday and it's just been a total shocker," said Soderlund. "Just to see how everything evolved and how it can take anybody. It's very scary."
Witeck said the virus that claimed Schissel's life is probably not related to H1N1 Swine Flu and is probably not contagious. Yet, as a precaution, a private lab will do some additional tests.