A ten-year-old football fanatic who suffered a cardiac arrest after scoring a goal has started a campaign to encourage others to learn CPR – which saved his life.
Dan Fagg collapsed on August 21 and was saved by quick-thinking referee Chris Crowe who rushed over and performed Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
After being airlifted to hospital for emergency treatment and later fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), Dan is thankfully on the mend and looking forward to getting back on the football pitch.
But now, the schoolboy – who dreams of being a professional footballer – wants to educate other children.
Starting their campaign, Dan and his mum Hayley Thomson have visited a local school, Hayfield in Auckley, Doncaster, South Yorks., to join 200 other pupils as they learnt how to perform CPR.
Mum Hayley, 43, of Doncaster, said: “I think every school should offer CPR training. What Chris did that day, he saved Dan’s life.”
Dan, a pupil at Adwick Primary School, said: “It’s been an amazing day.
“I think it’s important everybody learns CPR because you don’t want people to die right in front of you. You need to be able to try and help other people, people who you don’t know or you do know.”
The event was part of the Restart a Heart initiative, an annual event organised by Yorkshire Ambulance Service which aims to deliver vital, life-saving training to school children across the country.
Dan collapsed moments after he scored a goal for his team, Adwick Park Rangers JFC at their home ground in Adwick le Street, Doncaster.
After being taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital by air ambulance, Dan was later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary, West Yorks., where he the ICD fitted.
Consultants have not been able to identify any underlying heart condition and have given him the go-ahead to play football again next month.
David Guest, Clinical Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “The permanent defib will monitor Dan’s heart and if it detects anything wrong in his rhythm it can shock him.
“It’s not clear what the problem was with Dan’s heart, if it is something that can be repaired he may not need the defib forever, but he might. It’s too early to tell.”
Dan added that he dreams of being a professional footballer and has missed being on the pitch.
Hayley said: “We’ll keep going to check-ups and hopefully it doesn’t happen again. But if it does he has his own little defib, his own little hero inside his chest to save his life again.”
Since the incident, Dan’s family and Adwick Park Rangers Junior Football Club, with support from local people and businesses, have raised £6,000 for defibrillators in the community.
Dan’s story has inspired other community groups to fundraise for their own defibrillator. Blyth Bombers coaches Gary Grocock and Tim Whitmore are cycling 54 miles on November 6 to raise some of the cash needed.
Visit www.gofundme.com/2kwyvx64 to donate to Dan’s campaign. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to donate to Blyth Bombers.