"Hockey meant everything to him," Tyler Amburgey's wife said

By Ashley Boucher
September 17, 2020 10:31 PM
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A Texas hockey coach has died of complications from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tyler Amburgey felt ill just three days before his death on August 29.

Tyler, 29, assumed he had common cold, which he usually contracted in late summer from going back and forth between cold ice rinks and the Texas heat, his wife Aimee told the New York Times.

The young father experienced nausea the first night, then over the next two days had other symptoms ranging from sleeplessness to shortness of breath to body aches and migraines, his wife explained to newstation WFAA.

On the third day, when their daughter Rylee went to swimming lessons, Aimee checked on Tyler and found him unresponsive.

As she called 911, a neighbor did CPR but tragically Tyler could not be revived, according to WFAA.

Tyler's grandfather, Paul Hinds told the Journal Star that Tyler did not know he had had COVID-19 but tested positive after his death.

In an effort to get some rest during his illness the hockey coach had taken a sleeping tablet, however, according to the medical examiner, the pill combined with COVID-19 slowed his heart, eventually causing it to stop, his family told the outlet.

Tyler Amburgey
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Tyler was a defensive player on the Peoria Rivermen, a Southern Professional Hockey League team, before turning to coaching. The Rivermen reportedly held a memorial service for Tyler, who played two seasons on the team beginning in 2013, on Saturday.

"Hockey meant everything to him," Aimee told the Times. "When he got a new pair of skates, he was like a kid at Christmas. You never saw anyone so pumped up about new equipment, even shin guards."

Tyler played in three different professional leagues, the Times reported, though he suffered several injuries throughout his hockey career, including multiple concussions. His brain was donated to Boston University's CTE Center, according to the outlet, to see if he had the disease.

Aimee described her husband to WFAA as "a great guy, and loving husband and a loving father."

"Tyler was a genuine kind soul who left us with an abundance of wonderful memories," said a tribute to the coach on the Texas Warriors Youth Hockey Facebook page. "Life will not be the same without him." A scholarship fund was set up in honor of Tyler by the organization.

Tyler's death was linked to an outbreak of more than 30 reported cases of COVID-19 across several youth hockey teams in Dallas-Fort Worth, WFAA reported last week. Texas has had 710,035 reported cases of the contagious respiratory virus, with more than 30,000 reported in the past week, according to data from the New York Times.

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