A teenager who collapsed suddenly after going into cardiac arrest during a game of football in Sheffield has thanked the medic who saved his life.
Ryan Zon, aged 19, survived his massive heart attack only because the team he was playing against was made up of doctors.
Players from Sheffield Medics FC brought Ryan back to life, working on him for up to 15 minutes, until paramedics arrived and rushed him to hospital from the Warminster Road pitch in Norton.
Despite his brush with death less than two weeks ago, Ryan is now up and about on the coronary care ward at the Northern General Hospital - where junior doctor Tim Sandels, one of the players who performed CPR, paid him a visit.
Teenager Ryan is waiting to undergo a bypass operation, after tests revealed he suffers from a rare condition.
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.
Tim said it was ‘great to see Ryan finally’.
“This happened a good 10 days ago - obviously he looked a lot worse then than he does now!” he said.
“He’s looking great.”
Ryan, from Aston, was in a coma for three days following his collapse.
He was playing as a winger for Swallownest Miners Welfare Reserves, but is unlikely to take to a football pitch again.
The teen said he had been asking to see Tim to thank him.
“If they hadn’t been there it would have been totally different, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he said.
“I wanted to thank those that saved me. They don’t get enough credit for what they do.”
Iain Ruddick, secretary of Sheffield Medics, said Ryan was ‘obviously a strong lad’.
“You don’t get through something like that without being tough,” said Iain.
“It’s a shame that it happened, because it changes many aspects of his life, but the fact he is still here and so strong is a testament to him and our medics.”
Ryan, a Blades fan, collapsed like Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba, who almost died during a match being broadcast on live television in March last year.
In similar circumstances, Muamba was helped on the pitch by a consultant cardiologist who happened to be at the game as a fan, and has recovered despite his heart stopping for nearly 80 minutes.
Ryan’s family is now calling for every football club to have its own defibrillator to help restart hearts should other players fall ill.
Ryan’s manager, Dixie Nightingale, has had a meeting with representatives from Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA to discuss providing first aid equipment at games.