Wailuku native, DSU linebacker dies from low sodium levels

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A Maui man who played college football in Utah has unexpectedly died.

Family says the death of Abraham Reinhardt, 23, was linked to a condition called hyponatremia.

The Reinhardt family tells us Abraham had a kind, serving heart and was entertaining on and off the football field.

He died of hyponatremia, a condition of abnormally low sodium levels.

How that happened, the family says, is a mystery. 

Reinhardt’s parents say they couldn’t be more proud of what he accomplished. Reinhardt went to Dixie State University and was offered a full tuition scholarship to play football as a linebacker. 

Everything he did he excelled in and he was very kind to everyone around him. It’s amazing because he was almost like a magnet, they just come, said Reindhardt’s mother Malani. He had a kind soul. He loved Jesus, which was the main thing for us.

On Tuesday, Reinhardt was rushed to the emergency room.

Family says he suffered muscle pain and spasms, which turned into seizures causing brain swelling.

He died on Friday.

Abraham passed away. What ended up happening was his sodium levels just dropped. Being that it just dropped, we have no idea why. It just dropped. That’s the mystery, his mother said.

Dr. Jim Ireland tells us when salt levels go down drastically and suddenly it can cause complications such as headaches, seizures and vomiting

It can even be fatal.

There are a number of reasons people could have low sodium. 

There can be exercise-associated hyponatremia where you lose salt through sweat and exercising and you’re drinking pure water, said Dr. Jim Ireland, Assistant Clinical Professor at JABSOM. Another way to get it is just by drinking too much water too fast.

Dr. Ireland says you should drink when you’re thirsty. 

If you’re not thirsty, there is some controversy on whether you should quote push fluids, said Dr. Ireland. In my opinion, drinking sports drinks or things that have electrolytes in them is safer than pure water, in a sense that you are getting some of that salt back.

Reinhardt’s family has been left wondering why this happened, but they have faith. 

We’ll just leave it at that and move on and let my son keep touching the community and keep spreading the love of Jesus Christ. That’s why we get to smile because we can see him one day and cannot wait to see him and hug him you know, said his mother. 

To support the Reinhardt family, click here.

Press release from DSU below:

Dixie State University mourns the loss of Abraham Reinhardt

(ST. GEORGE, Utah March 23, 2019) The Dixie State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Trailblazer football program are mourning the loss of redshirt-senior football player Abraham Reinhardt, who passed away unexpectedly on Friday evening at Dixie Regional Medical Center.

We are all incredibly saddened and shocked by Abraham’s passing. Our hearts are broken. He always represented Dixie State University and our football program exceptionally well, but more importantly, he was an amazing young man, said Dr. Jason Boothe, DSU Athletic Director. He’s leaving behind a team of equally amazing young men who are struggling with this news as well. We will do everything we can to support Abraham’s family and the team during this very difficult time.

This past season, Reinhardt earned first-team all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors at linebacker after he led or co-led the Trailblazers in three different defensive statistical categories. He recorded a team-high 79 tackles, including 47 solo stops and co-led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss. Additionally, Reinhardt collected 3.5 sacks and co-led the Trailblazer defense with three interceptions, including a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown at Adams State on November 10.

Prior to his arrival to Dixie State, Reinhardt played two seasons at Riverside (CA) City College, where he finished with 100 tackles and two interceptions in two seasons. Abraham is a native of Wailuku, Hawai’i, and earned all-Poly All-Star, first team All-MIL, and Special Teams Player of the Year honors as a senior at H.P. Baldwin High School.

“Trailblazer Nation is deeply grieved by the loss Abraham, and our hearts go out to the Reinhardt family, his team, coaches, and friends,” said Richard B. Williams, DSU President. “We invite all DSU students, student-athletes, faculty and staff who have been impacted by this tragedy to utilize the counseling services and other resources available through our Health & Counseling Center.”

There will be a candlelight vigil in honor of Abraham this Monday evening, March 25, at the DSU Clock Tower beginning at 8 p.m.

The Dixie State University community stands united to support the Reinhardt family while respecting their privacy during this difficult time.

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