QB coach Kitchens has surgery to fix aorta

Posted by Darren Urban on June 5, 2013 – 8:35 am

Quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens had to leave Tuesday’s OTA when he wasn’t feeling well. Turned out he had a defect in his aorta that needed surgery. Kitchens is doing well this morning. Here is the team’s official statement:

“During Tuesday’s practice Freddie Kitchens began to feel ill – dizzy, light-headed – and was sent to the training room. After being evaluated by the team’s medical staff it was determined that he should be taken to the hospital for more evaluation and testing. During that process, a CT scan revealed a defect to his aorta that required surgery, which he had Tuesday night at the Arizona Heart Institute. According to the doctors who performed the surgery, it went very well and the early prognosis is positive. The Kitchens family is grateful to everyone who has and continues to extend their support, well wishes and prayers.”

UPDATE: Head Coach Bruce Arians credited the quarterbacks for making sure Kitchens was looked at by head athletic trainer Tom Reed. Quarterback Drew Stanton said the group was just having their normal warm-up conversations before Tuesday’s workout.

“Anyone who knows Freddie’s personality, he’s jovial and easy-going,” Stanton said. “He was joking around asking if a heart attack is on the left or right side, going for the chuckle, and then said ‘Actually, it’s kind of in the middle here.’ I told him, ‘Freddie, that sounds kind of serious,’ and Carson (Palmer) said ‘Yeah Freddie, you don’t look so good, you’re kind of flush.’ He tried to say he was OK, but we called Tom over and he was monitoring him.

“Luckily and thank God it worked out and he was taken care of in time. It puts things in perspective real quick. You count your blessings, things that we might just take for granted.”

The team held a pre-practice prayer for Kitchens Wednesday.

Kitchens has been on staff since 2007 and was the tight ends coach before moving to coach quarterbacks when Bruce Arians arrived. The one-time quarterback at Alabama was coached by Arians for a season with the Crimson Tide. While Kitchens recovers, the Cardinals have assistant head coach/offense Tom Moore who can work with the quarterbacks.


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Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “QB coach Kitchens has surgery to fix aorta”

  1. By hummer53 on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    All the best Freddie. Get well first.

  2. By LadyBird04 on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Thankfully this was caught quickly and dealt with appropriately. Prayers to Mr. Kitchens and his family…hope his recovery goes well.

    I believe this same aorta tear is what killed John Ritter – it was not diagnosed or treated quickly and he died at a very young age. KUDOS to the medical staff at the Cardinal facility for getting him proper care immediately.

  3. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Very Good to hear he is doing better and will be okay.

    Get Well Soon Mr. Kitchens.

    GO CARDS!!!

  4. By wonderingwhy on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Any truth that AZ cardinals have an interest in Jamarcus Russell? I saw it on

  5. By Darren Urban on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    wondering —

    RE: Russell


  6. By freeperjim on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    With the great Tom Moore filling in, the train should keep on rollin’ to the ring!

  7. By Jimi Tipster on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    I find it kinda sad that a group of hard working doctors and nurses worked well into the night to save this man’s life and you can’t even get the hospital name correct…. He was operated on at Arizona Heart Hospital…

  8. By aaron on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Jimi Tipster —

    And that after all the hours of surgeons’ hard work, prayers get the credit

  9. By dangle24 on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    My wife is a nurse and the last thing she cares about is if a reporter gets the hospitals name right. She cares about people, not praise. Don’t pull the “get the name right” crap, it sounds petty.

  10. By sbrown on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Coach K was lucky he was somewhere that he could get assistance. Great move by Cardinals medical staff to see he needed to go to a hospital , asap.
    Wishing a speedy recovery, may God Bless the Kitchens Family.

  11. By Jim Carmody on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    I find it sad that the thing you choose to pick out of that story is whether it’s “hospital” or “institute”

  12. By Dougefresh on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Roll Tide Freddie.

    Get well soon!!!

  13. By Paul Liccardi on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    thsnk god for the quick reactions by the quarterbacks

    get well soon coach freddie

  14. By joe holst on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    credit to the Cardinal players, coaches, medical team for their quick action and help. a big kudos to the organization and prayers for Freddie.

  15. By clssylssy on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Very proud of our alert and quick thinking young players who didn’t just blow this incident off as a bunch of guys joking around and were quick to get aid so this didn’t have a tragic ending. Prayers for Freddie Kitchens and his family and praise to the Cardinal players and staff who fortunately were on hand to help out.

  16. By Eazy E on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Kinda frightening there.#Prayer

  17. By D on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Let’s hope this group of RB’s on the roster makes a difference this year and for several seasons.

    Fact: Cards drafted in 2005 JJ Arington over some dude named Gore who was taken in round 3

  18. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Tipster; FYI the two places, Heart Hosp/Institute are across the street from one another and there is a reason for that.
    If you have a Heart problem you will visit Both places for obvious reasons.
    Also the Children’s (Heart) Hosp is in between the two buildings.

    So it is a possibility that Freddie was taken to one and then transfered to the other, not that it makes a bit of difference!

    Just glad to hear that he is Alive and Doing much Better that is All that counts.

    GO CARDS!!!

  19. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    wonderingwhy; Did you happen to notice this part of the statement; An April report by suggested the Bears and Arizona Cardinals had shown the highest level of interest.

    This part came out in APRIL, it is now JUNE, just goes to show how out of touch and behind is, when it comes to reporting Anything about the Cards.

    Heck Fire, Ryan Lindley is a Better QB!

    Just to make a point here; has Nothing about Freddie having a serious Medical problem yesterday. But I’ll bet if Romo stubs his toe that will make Headlines!

    GO CARDS!!!

  20. By Paul Liccardi on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    get well coach kitchens but you have nothing to worry about with your quarterbacks with coach moore aka the offensive legend looking over them while you recover. take your time and get better,

  1. 6 Trackback(s)

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  4. Jun 6, 2013: 6/6 Arizona Cardinals news: Kitchens has heart surgery, offseason grades | Jacksonville Local
  5. Jun 10, 2013: Word From the Birds Blog | Kitchens: “Thank you just doesn’t seem near enough”
  6. Jul 22, 2013: Word From the Birds Blog | QB coach Kitchens getting back to work
  7. Jul 23, 2013: Word From the Birds Blog | Freddie Kitchens cleared for work

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