On Sunday afternoon legendary French Football David Ginola described being back in the commentary box for Sky Sports watching two of his former sides as a “strange experience” since he himself suffered a heart attack during a charity game in 2016.
The former Tottenham and Magpies midfielder was clinically dead for around twelve minutes after he collapsed at a charity game in France in May 2016 before receiving life saving CPR from Frederic Mendy.
Speaking on the importance of CPR and defibrillators following the incident with the Newcastle fan, Ginola told Sky Sports: ” It is vital, it is vital because I hope the man or the woman is going to be fine. It brings back some weird memories.
“I’ve been talking to the lads, I haven’t been in the country for years doing that and you come back to the game and you have a heart-attack/issue in the stadium it’s been weird.
“We were watching a good game and all of a sudden it has been stopped with that. You said the defibrillator helps brilliantly, the fans in the stands to perform CPR helps massively. We all should be able to perform CPR to help each other.
“It is obviously a strange experience so encountering that, especially when we didn’t come for that, hopefully he is going to be fine, or she, but I think it’s important to make the point. It’s the right moment because we have a situation like that.”
Ginola, who made 58 appearances for Newcastle United after signing for the club in 1995, added: “The techniques and also working close with the people on the field, working to prevent all that kind of issues like the British Heart Foundation, in France I was with Richard Macron last week also, it is a major issue in countries, people’s lives.
“There is hundreds of thousands of people dying from sudden death and we don’t know yet the cause of that. It could coronaries, arteries, it could be anything it could be also nothing.
“If we look at the major survey at what happened in France out of 10,000 people we know the cause for some of them, but for some of them we don’t know.
“We need to improve our knowledge on sudden death and to treat people, prevent as well. Luckily he’s surrounded by lots of people at Football and the defibrillator is around but if anything like that happened at home without any defibrillator it would be a major problem.
“The method is – someone falling next to you and having sudden death – the first thing to do is not concentrate on the tongue or anything, you need to perform straight away waiting for the people to arrive with the defibrillator.
“Also how to use a defibrillator because it’s not that easy, also when something obscure like that, sometimes you will be stressed you will not do know exactly what to do, if you do then the last thing you should do is try, you should do something.
“As long as possible, waiting for the defibrillator to arrive, this is what saved my life. The words of the surgeon who operated me for the full bypass was ‘I’ve done my job but I didn’t save your life.
“The ones who saved your life was next to you on the football pitch’ Mendy and those guys, they had performed CPR and they did it for 12 minutes and I was dead for 12 minutes. It is very important otherwise the brain will be damaged, they save your heart but with your brain damaged.”
Learn how to do CPR | British Heart Foundation (bhf.org.uk)
UK Coaching – Sign up to our free Sudden Cardiac Arrest Toolkit
SPORTS CLUBS | Community Heartbeat Trust