David Ginola has said he is “feeling fine” following a quadruple heart bypass operation. The 49-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest whilst playing football in Mandelieu, southern France on the 19th of May where he was attending a celebrity golf tournament.
The footballer star was treated by paramedics at the scene where he was given several defibrillation shocks before being airlifted to the Monaco Cardio-Thoracic where he underwent surgery.
Professor Gilles Dreyfus who performed the surgery on Ginola explained that the sportsman did not suffer a heart attack, but rather that his heart was in “a catastrophic state”, when he arrived at the hospital. The professor told Sky News; “He was unconscious and did not remember anything. But it is going well. I have been able to talk to him. He does not show any neurological after-effects.
Looking back on the incident, he said the footballer was “lucky to be alive”, crediting the quick actions of the emergency services team for saving his life.
At the time of his collapse, spectators believed it to be a joke, however when Ginola did not get up they realised it was a serious matter.
Fortunately, a CPR trained bystander stepped in and began administrating chest compressions to Ginola until medical assistance could arrive. CPR is a vital step of the rescue process and crucial for the survival of the victim.
The emergency services arrived 8 minutes later and administered four defibrillation shocks at the scene of his collapse, where they were able to restore his regular heart rhythm. 10 minutes later, a helicopter arrived to safely transfer him to Monaco Heart Centre for further treatment.
The operating Professor said; "I made the decision to transfer him to the operating theatre and he immediately underwent a quadruple heart bypass, which was very straightforward although difficult. This morning he woke up perfectly normally with no neurological damage and is now recovering from a bypass like anybody would normally do.
"It was a sequence of events that at every stage went absolutely fine, that is why he is here today," he added. "Luckier you can't be. It's an unbelievable story."
News of the former Premier League player spread quickly prompting many fans and friends to express their concerns for his health and warm wishes for his recovery.
The former football player had earlier minimised his condition, playing it down to simply “fainting” while playing football in the sun on the French Riviera.
"Footy match in the midday sun, not very clever. Now having some tests done. Whoever voted for a World Cup in Qatar in the summer?"
As more details of his surgery surfaced, he reassured his fans and friends that he is currently on the road to a full recovery. He posted a message to his Twitter account which read; “Hello world, never slept better. I’m fine, just need to rest a bit. Thank you so much all of you for your magnificent support.”
Ginola is to remain in hospital for 10 days and is expected to make a full recovery.
In the light of other recent events which saw the tragic death of Patrick Ekeng, we can only further encourage the benefit and fundamental need for defibrillator access in all football stadiums worldwide.
The risk of SCA is three times greater in competitive athletes, which why an urgent call to action is required for quick accessibility of a defibrillation shock, should a cardiac arrest occur on the grounds.
With every passing minute, a victim’s chances of surviving an SCA decrease by 10%. Administrating CPR along with the shock of an AED can increase chances of revival from just 6% to 74% if delivered within the first 3-5 minutes of collapse.
By bridging the time gap between collapse and defibrillation, chances of survival become greater and greater and so it is the most beneficial progression to make AEDs available at all stadiums for the safety of both players, and supporting fans.
What are your thoughts on accessible AEDs in football stadiums? Do you think sufficient protection is being provided at events to protect the lives of athletes? Share your views in the comment section below or tweet us @defibshop to start a discussion.