No sooner had we posted an article about First Aid than a particularly excellent story was shared with us about that very subject.
It was brought to you by Pat Tuffy and needs no introduction, other than to say that, if it’s not obvious from reading it, there are some serious points included in the article. If it’s made you realise that your first aid isn’t good enough for a situation like this, head over to our article on how to improve your basic first aid for football.
Over to Pat….
A serious incident
We had a very serious incident about 3 years ago.
We were playing our usual weekly 5-a-side game, when after about 20 minutes one of the regular players said that he was feeling short of breath, so he went in goal.
When he went in, he stretched his arms out along the crossbar, with his back to the game. We were shouting “Oi, Cliff – face the game” and the next second he collapsed like a bag of spuds on his back onto the blue gym mats in front of the goal.
The game stopped instantly and the hall went deadly quiet.
We all went over to Cliff, and it was very obvious that he was in a bad way. As I was the organiser, I felt duty bound to take the lead.
I shouted for someone to call an ambulance, and then I shouted Cliff’s name in his ear and slapped him around the face. Nothing, not a blink of the eyes (which were open looking straight the the roof), not a murmur, not a twitch on his face, nor his body.
We all looked at each other, nothing was said – but we all had the same thought – He’s a gonner. (no – not a Gooner – a gonner).
I asked if any one knew First Aid – we all agreed that we did not. So I thought – I’ll give it a go, remembering the Vinnie Jones adverts for CPR – done to the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”…..
I tried the heart pumping, but things only got worse. One of the other players, Alpesh, tried to find a pulse – but to no avail. Cliff was now dribbling from the side of his mouth, and his eyes had rolled up into his head, so that only the whites of his eyes were visible (like something out of a horror movie).
It’s not working…
When Cliff’s lips turned blue, I realised that my skills were not up to those of St. Vinnie, so I asked the guys what we should do. Roy (the Welsh Wizard) offered to do “Mouth to Mouth” and we all agreed to let Roy get on with it.
We all stood back to let Roy have some air, so he crouched by Cliff’s chest. He pressed his lips close to Cliff’s – at which point Cliff sat bolt upright and shouted “F### off Roy, stop f###ing kissing me”.
The tension in the hall disappeared immediately.
We rolled Cliff onto his side, into the recovery position, and he seemed fine – if a bit tired. He did not remember anything about the incident (which had lasted about 10 / 15 minutes), and did not know why he was on the mat with everyone around him.
A lucky escape
The paramedics arrived about 5 minutes later, and a quick check up indicated that he was not in danger.
An ambulance arrived after another 10 minutes, and another check up indicated that he was OK to travel to hospital.
Cliff walked out of the hall, unsteadily, supported by the ambulance staff and muttering “I played less that half game – I want half my subs back”.
The A&E department diagnosed a congenital heart defect, and he need surgery to replace a dodgy heart valve. He had the operation within a week, and is back playing football.
It appears that on the night, his dodgy heart valve got stuck, causing the initial shortage of breath, and then the collapse. Our pumping and kissing might had jolted the valve into its correct operation. Cliff said that he had suffered sporadic bouts of shortage of breath in the past, for as long as he could remember, but put it down to asthma or just wheezes.
There was a similar incident a few weeks later (not in my game, I hasten to add), but the player was not as lucky as Cliff, as he died. That team bought a Emergency CPR kit for the hall, similar to those held in office blocks and train stations.
Whilst Cliff had a lucky escape, and a rather entertaining one at that, this is a very scary situation to be faced with.
If it has scared you into action to make sure you’ve got some basic first aid knowledge, here’s an article where we’ll show you where to start: First Aid For Football – vital knowledge.
Remember, if you’ve got an amusing footballing story, share them with us. We love hearing them and will publish the best ones!