Prior to December 6th, Josh Jones was an integral part of the Creighton basketball team, but on that day everything changed when he passed out prior to their game against Nebraska. Doctors attributed it to an atrial flutter (an abnormal heart rhythm in the hearts atria), but further evaluation showed his condition was much more serious. This was not Josh’s first heart related problem. In 2007 he underwent surgery to have an infected valve replaced, but hadn’t had a problem since.
On December 18th, Jones had a nine-hour non surgical procedure called radio frequency ablation, to repair his atrial flutter. Since then he has undergone 2 similar procedures and been told that his basketball playing days are over, but despite all of this Jones has remained very positive and up-beat.
“I want to tell everybody I’m fine – I’m normal – I’m just not able to do high-intense things to put my heart rate at an unsafe rate that can put me down, make me pass out again or potentially cause death,” he said. “That’s what the procedure is about, changing the complications of my heart to make me live a healthy life with a healthy heart.”
Jones, a fifth-year senior, is on track to graduate this May with a degree in public relations.
“I’ve got aspirations to do other things,” Jones said. “I’m going to try to put my degree to use. I was going to do all these other things regardless, whenever my athletic career was going to end. Now it’s time to start pursuing them early.”
A documentary chronicling Jones’ story was made and shown in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and although his playing career has been cut short he feels blessed that his life hasn’t, and he uses that as inspiration as he continues to smile through adversity and achieve his goals.
“When I look back on it now, I know what I want my legacy to be. It’s about how a young kid from north Omaha who grew up with nothing but a dream and faced every adversity possible, stayed focused and became successful.”
If I can do that, it would mean more to me than any basket I ever scored.”