Heart op for Rotherham footballer, 19

Pictured is Ryan Zon aged 19 in the Northern General Hospital's,Coronary Care Ward
Pictured is Ryan Zon aged 19 in the Northern General Hospital's,Coronary Care Ward
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A footballer who suffered a cardiac arrest during a game is to have a defibrillator fitted to his heart in case he suffers another attack.

Ryan Zon, aged 19, collapsed during a game in Sheffield last month. He survived because the team he was playing against was made up of doctors and trainee medics who battled to save him until an ambulance arrived.

Two other doctors playing on a nearby rugby field on Warminster Road, Norton, also rushed to his aide.

Some of the Good Samaritans, some of them members of Sheffield Medics FC, visited Ryan in hospital afterwards.

Yesterday, Ryan, of Aston, Rotherham, underwent a surgical procedure in hospital and in around a week he will go under the knife again to have the defibrillator fitted.

The device will re-start his heart automatically if it detects a change in rhythm.

It is hoped that Ryan, a winger for Swallownest Miners Welfare Reserves, will be allowed home by the end of the month but he has been told by medics he will never play football again.

His mum Tracey, who has been staying with Ryan while he has been treated at a hospital in Leeds, said: “Ryan is fed up now and wants to get back home.

“Once he has the defibrillator fitted it shouldn’t be long before he is back home and hopefully able to move on with the rest of his life.

“If his heart rate starts to change the defibrillator would detect it and shock it back into a normal rhythm to stop the same thing happening again.

“The last few weeks have been horrendous and it’s now starting to sink in just how close we were to losing Ryan.”

Mrs Zon wants her son’s ordeal to encourage football clubs to all have defibrillators available for use during games.

Her son’s collapse mirrored that of Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a televised match in March last year.

The Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA also wants more defibrillators installed across the county to help save the lives of footballers should they suffer heart problems.

Representatives of the FA met with Dixie Nightingale, who manages Ryan’s team, after the player collapsed.