The doctor who helped bring Christian Eriksen back to life after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a Euro 2020 match last week has revealed what the Danish star said in the moments after he regained consciousness.
It comes as Denmark’s national team doctor has announced that Eriksen will have a heart-starter fitted after his cardiac attack was caused by ‘rhythm disturbances’.
The Inter Milan and former Tottenham midfielder collapsed during the first half of the group game in Copenhagen and required 13 minutes of CPR before he was taken to hospital in a stable condition, where he remains.
German doctor Jens Kleinefeld was one of the first people on the scene at the Parken Stadium and helped deliver an electric shock that restarted the 29-year-old’s heart. He’s now revealed what Eriksen said in the moments after he regained consciousness.
Kleinefeld told Fox Sports: ‘About 30 seconds later, the player opened his eyes and I could talk to him directly.
‘That was a very moving moment, because in such medical emergencies in everyday life, the chances of success are much lower.’
Kleinefeld revealed he then asked Eriksen: ‘Well, are you back with us?’ and Eriksen replied: ‘Yes, I am back with you. For f***s sake, I’m only 29 years old.’
What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator is a small device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.
It sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms, specifically those that can be dangerous and cause a cardiac arrest.
If an ICD notices a dangerous heart rhythm it can deliver one or more of the following treatments:
Pacing – a series of low-voltage electrical impulses (paced beats) at a fast rate to try and correct the heart rhythm.
Cardioversion – one or more small electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
Defibrillation – one or more larger electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
Danish national team doctor Morten Boesen announced on Thursday morning that Eriksen will be given an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to regulate his heart’s rhythm.
A statement read: ‘After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD.
‘This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.
‘Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.
‘We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy the following time’.
It was announced on Wednesday that Belgium will kick the ball into touch in the 10th minute of their game against Denmark on Thursday night – allowing them to applaud Eriksen as he continues to recover.
It will be only the second time Denmark have taken to the field since the incident and Belgian striker Lukaku said it was important to his team – with many of the squad having played with the 29-year-old in the past.
‘After 10 minutes of the match we will put the ball in touch to applaud,’ Lukaku said.
‘Several players from our country have played with him but we will be there to win and that is the most important.’
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer, who played a critical role in aiding Eriksen and supporting his stricken team-mate’s wife and fellow players, has spoken for the first time since the incident and paid a touching tribute in the hours before kick-off on Thursday night.
The AC Milan defender said: ‘It has been some very special days, where football has not been the most important thing.
‘A shock, that will be part of me – part of all of us – forever! The only thing that is important and really matters, is that Christian is okay! I am proud of how we acted as a team and how we stood together in these difficult times. I am touched and very grateful for all the support.
‘Today, we will enter the pitch against Belgium with Christian in our hearts and thoughts. It gives us peace in our mind, which allows us to focus on the game of football. We will play for Christian, and as always for all of Denmark. This is the greatest motivation for us all’.
Eriksen posted the first picture of himself in hospital since suffering a cardiac arrest on Tuesday.
In the caption, the 29-year old said: ‘Hello everyone. Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family.
‘I’m fine – under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay.
‘Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark. Best, Christian’.
On Monday, Eriksen also thanked fans for their support and concern, and vowed to get to the bottom of why he experienced such a sudden and serious health emergency in a short statement released to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport via his agent.
Eriksen’s statement read: ‘Thank you, I won’t give up. I feel better now – but I want to understand what’s happened.
‘I want to say thank you all for what you did for me.’
England’s Kieran Trippier, Wales’s Gareth Bale and Scotland’s Andrew Robertson were three of the players who featured, as well as Spain coach Luis Enrique and Holland manager Frank de Boer.
The UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin opened the messages and the video finished with Anthony Taylor, the referee in charge of the Denmark vs Finland match, wishing Eriksen well.
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