The Mercury News

Pegula, co-owner of Bills and Sabres, has health issues


Pro tennis player Jessica Pegula has revealed that her mother, Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres coowner and president Kim Pegula, went into cardiac arrest in June and is still recovering while dealing with significan­t language and memory issues.

In an essay that The Players' Tribune published Tuesday, Jessica Pegula detailed for the first time the medical crisis that abruptly removed her mother from the public eye and suggested that her mother may not resume the same level of involvemen­t in the family's sports franchises.

Kim Pegula, she wrote, went into cardiac arrest while sleeping and received lifesaving CPR from another daughter until paramedics arrived and restored her heartbeat. The family previously said only that Kim Pegula was receiving medical care for “some unexpected health issues” that arose shortly after she celebrated her 53rd birthday.

“My mom is working hard in her recovery, she is improving, but where she ends up is still unknown,” Jessica Pegula, 28, wrote.

She said she decided to write about her mother's ordeal after Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field during a Jan. 2 game in Cincinnati in what Pegula described as “some bizarre, messed-up, full circle moment.”

“My stomach sunk because it felt like the exact same thing all over again. I was sitting on the bench for a tennis event in Sydney, Australia. I wanted to throw up,” wrote Jessica Pegula, who is No. 4 in the WTA's singles rankings. Jessica Pegula had been home in Florida months earlier when she got a call from her sister, Kelly, around midnight on their mother's birthday and learned that their mother was being rushed to the hospital.

“My mom was asleep when my dad woke up to her going into cardiac arrest and she was unresponsi­ve for quite a while,” she wrote. Kelly Pegula, who was staying with their parents, performed CPR — just three months after telling her family that she planned to become certified in the procedure for a job.

Today, Kim Pegula “can read, write, and understand pretty well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond,” Jessica Pegula wrote.

SOURCES: CARR TO VISIT SAINTS TODAY >> Raiders quarterbac­k Derek Carr will visit the New Orleans Saints today, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first to report Carr's trip.

Saints coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders' coach when the club selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Fresno State. Allen coached Carr for only four games before he was fired that year.

If the Saints and Raiders agree to a deal, they have until Feb. 15 to work out the details. That's when Carr's contract will become guaranteed and he will be owed $40.4 million over the next two years.

The Raiders could release Carr if no trade agreement is reached, which would make him a free agent. New Orleans or another team could wait to see if that happens and try to lure Carr in free agency.

Even if a trade agreement is reached before the deadline, a team could renege because no deal is official until March 15. TITANS PROMOTE KELLY, HIRE FIRST FEMALE COACH >> Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel has shaken up his coaching staff and announced that he promoted passing game coordinato­r Tim Kelly to offensive coordinato­r.

The Titans added Charles London from Atlanta to replace Kelly, hired last year as the passing game coordinato­r, as the new pass game coordinato­r and quarterbac­ks coach; Chris Harris is defensive passing game coordinato­r and cornerback­s coach.

Vrabel also has hired the franchise's first fulltime female coaching assistant, adding Lori Locust as defensive quality control coach from Tampa Bay.

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