Thursday, May 11, 2017

Overexertion During Exercise With Heart Trouble: Chicago Fire Department Chief Michael V. Murphy, 56, suffered a massive heart attack Chicago while he was taking part in a water polo event at Mount Carmel High School

A Chicago Fire Department chief suffered a massive heart attack and died Sunday afternoon.

Chief Michael V. Murphy, 56, was taking part in an aquatic event at Mount Carmel High School on the South Side with his 16-year-old son when he suffered a massive heart attack, according to a statement from the Chicago Fire Department.

Murphy, of the Beverly neighborhood, was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where he died at 3:57 p.m. Sunday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Murphy, who joined the department in October 1996, achieved the rank of Deputy District Chief and was named the Commanding Fire Marshal in February 2015, according to the statement. The position heads up the Office of Fire Investigation, which determines the cause and origin of structure and vehicular fires in Chicago.

Murphy was the catalyst for newly passed city ordinance that requires the victims of vehicle fires to report fires to the police and fire departments before filing an insurance claim to avoid fraudulent claims, according to the statement.

He leaves behind wife Sara, daughter Clara and sons John and Will, according to the statement.

Services for Chief Murphy are scheduled, with a visitation planned Thursday at St. Barnabas, 3:30-9 p.m., and a funeral Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Barnabas, 10134 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago.


BEVERLY — Chicago Fire Department Chief Michael V. Murphy, 56, died Sunday after attending a water polo match at Mount Carmel High School in Woodlawn.

Murphy, a Beverly resident, led the department's Office of Fire Investigations. He was a member of St. Barnabas Parish and is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sarah, and their three children — Clare, John and William.

Murphy's son Will is a captain on the Caravan's water polo team, and Murphy suffered a suspected heart attack in a father-son water polo match on Sunday at the school at 6410 S Dante Ave. in Woodawn, said Dan LaCount, Mount Carmel's athletic director.

"I knew him as a father. He was a great dad," LaCount said Monday.

"All the kids on the water polo team knew him, and he was super encouraging," he said. "It's a tremendous loss for their family, and we respect their time to be together."

Murphy joined the fire department in October 1996. He was named the commanding fire marshal in February 2015 — a position tasked with determining the cause of structure and vehicle fires in the city.

Murphy was also the catalyst for an ordinance that requires the victims of vehicle fires to report such fires before any insurance claims are made. The new law has been credited for a decrease in fraudulent insurance claims involving automobile fires, said Larry Langford, a fire department spokesman.

Before joining the fire department, Murphy served as a physics teacher at St. Rita High School in Ashburn. He also coached cross country there in the early 1990s, according to a spokesman from the all-boys Catholic school.

The Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn Retirees', Widows' and Children’s Assistance Fund will provide financial assistance to Murphy's children, said Bill Sullivan, who works for the group dedicated to widows and orphans of Chicago Fire Department personnel.

Visitation will be held from 3:30-9 p.m. Thursday at St. Barnabas Church, 10134 S. Longwood Drive. A funeral Mass for relatives and friends will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Barnabas.


Overexertion During Exercise With Heart Trouble
by WALT PICKUT Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011

Overexertion can damage your heart and raise your risk of stroke or sudden death if you already have heart trouble, according to the Heart Failure Society of America and Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Symptoms of heart strain may occur with overexertion if you exceed target heart rates for your sex and age. Consult your physician to determine optimum exercise levels.

Heart Damage

Heart trouble can be caused by coronary artery disease. This is when your coronary arteries are too narrow to supply extra blood -- with its extra oxygen and nutrients -- to your heart muscles during strenuous exercise, according to a 2003 report published in "Clinical Chemistry" by researchers at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre of the University Hospital of Ghent in Belgium. When you reach a state of overexertion, your heart muscle can become too weak or can't conduct electrical impulses improperly. Over time this can damage portions of your heart muscle or cause abnormal heart rhythms, leading to a heart attack or sudden death.


With atrial fibrillation, your atria -- the collecting chambers that receive blood from your body and lungs before your ventricles pump it back out -- twitch feebly instead of beating. This allows blood to stagnate in your atria and form clots. Overexertion can break the clots loose and allow them to travel to your brain, to clog arteries and to cause a stroke. If you have atrial fibrillation, your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent blood clotting, which may allow you to enjoy more exercise.

Irregular Rhythm

According to a November 2009 report released by Johns Hopkins Medicine, individuals who develop erratic heartbeats during or after extreme exercise are at no excess risk of dying from a heart attack if they have a normal heart. However, the same erratic heartbeats during or after exercise in a person with underlying coronary heart disease could increase her risk of dying from a fatal heart rhythm. She should avoid arduous exercise if this is the case.


The Heart Failure Society of America advises people with heart trouble to become aware of the symptoms of overexertion. If you exercise too strenuously, you may become so short of breath that you can't finish a sentence without gasping for a breath, and this may persist even after you stop working out. Abnormal heart rhythms, which you may feel as skipped beats by checking your pulse, can cause dizziness or extreme fatigue, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Chest, chin, arm or back pain may also accompany overexertion. Heart Failure Society of America advises calling 911 if these symptoms persist or worsen.