Notre Dame announced Tuesday that senior linebacker Danny Spond would end his college football career as a result of severe migraines.
"Hemiplegic migraines are a rare form of headache that present with temporary stroke-like symptoms, such as weakness and slurred speech," Notre Dame head football team physician Dr. Jennifer Malcolm said in a statement. "Danny has suffered from a series of these migraines, but with medication, rehabilitation and a positive attitude he should avoid any long-term consequences. As there are no fully reliable predictors of hemiplegic migraines and ultimate prevention is extremely challenging, we fully support Danny."
Spond broke the news to his teammates over the weekend.
"In order to assure my overall well-being, I'm forced to walk away from the game with an extremely heavy heart," the player said Saturday morning.
He later thanked his fans for the support via twitter.
"I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and support I have received from all you this past week, I can not thank you enough. This has been the toughest time of my life and you have all been so incredible for me and my family sincerely I thank you from the bottom of my heart," the former linebacker wrote.
"God bless each and everyone of you, and just remember to always trust in Gods plan whatever it may be. I'm trusting and he will provide," he added later.
Spond, who started 11 games last year for the 12-1 Fighting Irish, will remain in the team for the 2013 season and will serve as a student-coach. He will graduate this spring with a degree in political science.