Meyer was rushed by ambulance to hospital


Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer

Florida football coach Urban Meyer.

The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 4:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 4:22 p.m.

The audio tape of a 911 call made by Shelley Meyer at 4:27 the morning after the SEC Championship Game sheds new light on what led to Florida coach Urban Meyer being hospitalized with chest pain.

According to the tape released Wednesday by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Meyer was rushed by ambulance to Shands at the University of Florida hours after arriving home after the loss to Alabama -- a situation different from what was portrayed by UF officials.

The day after the game in Atlanta, UF officials said Meyer admitted himself to the hospital for dehydration. At a press conference the next day, on Dec. 7, Meyer conceded that he had had chest pains before checking into Shands.

However, the 911 tape shows he was rushed to Shands by paramedics.

The 911 call by Shelley Meyer was made at 4:27 a.m. Sunday morning and lasted about 7 minutes and 40 seconds.

Calm throughout the call, Shelley Meyer told the dispatcher that Meyer suddenly popped up in bed and complained of tingling on his side and chest pains.

“My husband is having chest pains. He just woke up in the middle of the night and said he was having chest pains,” she said on the audio tape.

Shelley Meyer said her husband had fallen off the bed and was on his stomach on the floor, at which point Shelley repeatedly tried to wake him with quiet calls of “Urban, Urban. Wake up. Urb.”

According to the audio tape, Meyer continued breathing and “sort of grunting” but could not talk, Shelley Meyer told the dispatcher. At one point Shelley Meyer adds, “It's almost like he's trying to cry.”

Shelley Meyer added that Meyer had taken a Ambien sleeping pill at about 11:30 p.m.

“It's almost like he's deep, deep asleep. The Ambien really puts him out,” said Shelley Meyer, a psychiatric nurse.

Questioned about any previous heart trouble for Meyer, Shelley Meyer added, “He's had some pains in his chest -- anxiety, usually anxiety.”

At times during the 911 call, Shelley Meyer is using both a land line and a cell phone. She momentarily leaves him to unlock the door and to turn on the front light for the rescue crew. Shortly after that, the recording ends abruptly.

Attempts to reach the Meyers Wednesday were not successful.

Urban Meyer's health became a major national story on Saturday when he announced his decision to resign as UF coach. Meyer emphasized then that he was resigning from coaching, not just from coaching the Gators, and that he planned to remain in Gainesville and hoped to help out at UF in some manner.

Less than 24 hours later, Meyer announced that he had changed his mind, and that he was taking up an offer by UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and UF president Bernie Machen to take a leave of absence from coaching the Gators.

In a news conference Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, soon after he and the team had arrived in the Big Easy for their preparations for Friday's Sugar Bowl game against the University of Cincinnati, Meyer discussed his health.

“The chest pains have really become a serious issue the past two weeks,” Meyer said during Sunday's news conference.

Meyer said he did not suffer a heart attack and that he's not sure if he will need any medical procedures done while on his leave of absence.

After Friday's game, Meyer is scheduled to begin to slow down, while offensive coordinator Steve Addazio becomes the interim coach until Meyer returns.

Meyer said he hopes the leave will help resolve health concerns that date back to four years ago -- mainly chest pains that have become more severe over the past two seasons.

“This is something I've got to fix,” Meyer told reporters Sunday. “If I'm able to coach, I want to coach at one place. That's the University of Florida.”

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top