A ten-year-old boy suffered a HEART ATTACK in the playground – while playing British Bulldog.
Koby Hodder’s heart stopped for a staggering 12 minutes after he collapsed during the game with friends in morning break.
Quick thinking teachers at his school, Bentley High Street Primary School, Doncaster, South Yorks were able to give Koby CPR until paramedics arrived and saved his life.
Dad, builder Mark, 45, got a call from the school at around 11am on March 2, and was told to get to the school immediately.
He said: “I was working around the corner so I was able to get straight over there and when I saw Koby on the ground I knew he was dead.
“Teachers were giving him CPR but I could see he was grey and lifeless. I couldn’t even go to him. I was devastated.”
Luckily he was brought back to life when paramedics Lee Murphy and Martin Parkinson and emergency care assistant Freddie Stevens arrived, and were able to save him by giving Koby two shocks with a defibrillator.
Koby, now 11, was rushed to the local hospital, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where he looked to be making a recovery when he suffered another attack.
Koby was then transferred to Leeds General Infirmary Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Father-of-three, Mark, said: “We were beside ourselves with worry. Koby is super-fit, he plays football three times a week and goes boxing two times a week. How could this happen in someone so young?
Mum, Joanne, said: “Can you imagine what we were going through? We didn’t
even have a clue what had happened to Koby. We didn’t think for a moment that he could have had a heart attack.
“I had dropped him off to school that morning and he was his happy little self. We had no warning.
“Koby is a bit of a joker so when he collapsed even his friends thought he was messing around, until they noticed he wasn’t breathing.”
While Koby was hospital doctors fitted him with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to shock his heart back into rhythm should it ever stop again.
Bolton Wanderer’s Fabrice Muamba, 26, was fitted with the same implant after his high profile heart attack when he was in an FA Cup match in 2012.
Mark said: “At the moment we don’t know what has caused Koby to have a heart attack. It is baffling.”
Mark and wife, nursery nurse, Joanne, are due to have tests to see if Koby’s heart condition is hereditary.
His brother and sister, Joel, 27, and Courteney, 20, may also have to be tested.
Relieved mum, Joanne, 43, said: “I cannot thank each and every person who played a part in saving Koby’s life and helped with his recovery, enough.
“Teachers, paramedics and hospital staff have all been amazing.”
“As a parent it is your worst nightmare to receive a phone call like I did from school when you sent your healthy 10-year-old child to school that morning fit and well.”
”Doctors have said that the fact that Koby was running around at the time of the attack may have helped him – because it meant his heart was pumping.”
Brave Koby knows he is lucky to be alive, but his dream of being a professional footballer has been taken from him.
Koby had played with both Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers youth teams and had hopes of playing for his beloved Leeds United when he got older.
Mark said: “Doctors have said he can play with friends as long as he doesn’t exert himself too much. They’ve said that if he can exercise and talk at the same time then that’s okay, but playing professionally is out of the question.
“Maybe Koby would not have been a professional footballer but he is gutted, understandably.”
Joanne said: “When Koby feels down we tell him that he is very lucky to be here and that makes him feel better.
“But he is still recovering and sometimes he feels scared, but he is still getting used to his defibrillator. It’s a big thing he has had to deal with.
“For his birthday he didn’t want a sleepover as we had originally planned, instead we went for a day out to York.
“Koby has come a long way and even returned to school this month.
“He’s had a fantastic recovery so far, which is all down to the fast response from the school staff and the paramedics.
“He’s doing better than we could have ever imagined. I am so grateful we still have our little boy with us.”