Sport Soccer

Wednesday 21 February 2018

David Ginola's life saved by bystander trained in CPR after cardiac arrest

David Ginola
David Ginola

Heather Saul

David Ginola’s life was saved by a person performing CPR when he collapsed at a football game in France, with his surgeon saying the French footballer couldn't have been “luckier”.

The former Newcastle United star underwent five-hour quadruple bypass surgery in the early hours of Friday morning after suffering a cardiac arrest on Thursday. Ginola, 49, is now understood to be recovering at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.

His surgeon, Gilles Dreyfus, professor of cardiac surgery at the Monaco Heart Centre, told BBC Sport Ginola would be brain dead if a quick-thinking bystander was not at the scene to perform CPR on him until emergency services arrived eight minutes later. He said Ginola was also saved by the paramedic knowing exactly where the football pitch was after seeing it earlier that day and asking someone about it.

“If she hadn't then most likely she would not have found it within the timeframe to save him,” he said.

"They arrived with him in cardiac arrest, he was shocked four times on site, they were able to restore a normal heart rhythm and within 10 minutes a helicopter arrived to transfer him to Monaco Heart Centre.

“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.

”It was a sequence of events that at every stage went absolutely fine, that is why he is here today. Luckier you can't be. It's an unbelievable story.”

Mr Dreyfus said he is now recovering normally and has sustained no neurological damage.

It comes after a French sports journalist who was at the scene claimed he was in a coma.

A representative for Ginola denied reports he was in a coma, telling the Independent on Friday he was in a hospital awaiting tests. Two updates have been posted on his Twitter page appearing to play down the incident, with one on Friday saying he had “never slept better” and one shortly after his hospitalisation suggesting he fell ill after playing in hot weather.

Independent News Service

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