Surgery for footballer

Ryan Zon (on right)
Ryan Zon (on right)
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A footballer aged 19 who suffered a cardiac arrest during a game is to have a heart bypass operation.

Ryan Zon, from Aston, collapsed during a football game – and only survived because the team he was playing was made up of doctors.

Players from Sheffield Medics FC sprung into action and kept Ryan alive until paramedics arrived and rushed him to hospital.

Ryan, a winger for Swallownest Miners Welfare Reserves, was playing on a pitch on Warminster Road, Norton, Sheffield, when he fell ill.

The team he was playing against was made up of doctors and trainee medics and there were two other doctors playing rugby on a neighbouring pitch who also raced to his aide.

Tests have revealed Ryan has a rare condition where one of the arteries to his heart is the wrong way round, which means it closes up and stops the blood flow to his heart when he exerts himself.

Ryan’s mum Tracey, 47, said her son – who has been told he will never play football again – wants to thank the medics who saved his life.

“He knows he wouldn’t be here if it were not for them and wants to meet them to say thank you for everything they did for him,” she said.

“Considering what Ryan has been through and the shock of everything he is doing amazing.

“He is up walking and – Ryan being Ryan – he is trying to do too much but it is just great to see him back on his feet again considering how ill he was when they first brought him in to hospital.”

The Sheffield United fan, described by his family as ‘sport mad’, is due to see a surgeon at the Northern General Hospital today to discuss plans for a bypass operation later this week.

The teenager suffered the same condition as Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during a televised match in March last year.

Ryan’s family is now calling for every football club to have their own defibrillator at games to help re-start hearts should any other players fall ill.

Tracey said: “It was just luck that Ryan was playing against the Sheffield Medics, so if anything positive can come from this it is that every club will now recognise the importance of having defibrillators.”

Ryan’s manager Dixie Nightingale has had a meeting with representatives from Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA to discuss first aid equipment at games.

The FA also wants more defibrillators across the county.