Report: Colts executive called 911, concerned that owner Jim Irsay had congestive heart failure


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — First responders arrived at the home of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay on Dec. 8 after longtime team executive Pete Ward placed a 911 call, concerned that Irsay was suffering from congestive heart failure, The Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.

The newspaper obtained a recording of the 911 call from Hamilton County via a public records request.

“We have a gentleman who is unresponsive. He is breathing but is bluish in color and we believe that he may be having congestive heart failure,” Ward said in the call.

Ward also told the dispatcher that Irsay’s breathing was labored and that he was “mostly” unconscious. When Ward arrived, he said Irsay’s nurse said his oxygen level was low.

Police officers from Carmel, Indiana, a northern suburb of Indianapolis, wrote they found the 64-year-old Irsay unresponsive, breathing and with a bluish skin tone, according to a police report.

One officer wrote in his report that Irsay “had fallen in the bathroom and was moved to his bed and was cool to the touch. Irsay had oxygen in his nose, was cool to the touch and had agonal breathing.”

The police report said he was treated with he was treated with Narcan, a medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose, before medics arrived on the scene. Irsay was later transported to a hospital.

Irsay has a history of addiction to painkillers and has publicly addressed the problems he has faced, most recently in November when he told HBO Sports he had sought treatment at least 15 times.

He was suspended for six games and was fined $500,000 by the NFL after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in September 2014. He was arrested six months earlier when Carmel officers spotted him driving erratically near his home. During a search of the car, police found a variety of prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash.

Earlier this month, Irsay canceled a performance in Los Angeles with the Jim Irsay Band because of what team officials described as a severe respiratory illness. When asked for an update on Irsay’s condition last week, general manager Chris Ballard said Irsay was stable and he was getting through it.

Following initial release of the police report, the team issued a statement.

“Mr. Irsay continues to recover from his respiratory illness,” the statement said. “We will have no further comment on his personal health and we continue to ask that Jim and his family’s privacy be respected.”

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