The Eriksen Effect

The world watched in horror on Saturday 12th June as Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s game with Finland. Eriksen suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. He received immediate medical attention including CPR and 1 shock from a defibrillator. It was harrowing to watch. I cried. I don’t know the man but it brought so much back for me with Isla and I looked to the floor where she collapsed. The laminate turned to dark grey carpet and there she lay. I can’t tell you the relief I felt when Kasper Schmeichel (possibly one of the best humans on Earth) went to Christian’s wife and I saw him say, ‘He’s ok’… I mean it was probably in Danish and wasn’t exactly that but my mind told me at the time he said that. I haven’t become fluent in Danish recently. I once tried to learn Hawaiian… beautiful language. I got about as far as Aloha which means approximately 1000 different things so I think I did pretty well.

The impact of Eriksen having a sudden cardiac arrest on a world stage was awful and massive respect to the Danish team for trying to shield him from view and give him and the medical team some privacy and dignity. Trust me, no one needs to see someone be shocked. However, some UK cardiologist (can’t remember his name on the radio) also highlighted the implications of this happening in such a high profile event, especially to such a high profile player. Everyone in the world saw how important CPR is and how vital defibrillators are to saving a life. Eriksen wouldn’t be here without such swift medical intervention.

Kerry was saying how during teaching CPR in school to her class, they were messing about, joking:

‘When are we ever going to need this!?’

Well now they have a reason. I mean they know her daughter needed CPR but they don’t really know Isla. They ‘know’ Christian Eriksen. Millions of people ‘know’ Christian Eriksen. Millions of people were affected seeing what happened to him. I cried. Players cried. Lots of people cried.

The number of posts showing how to perform CPR and about treating Cardiac Arrest I have seen since Saturday by far outnumbers all the posts I saw during the whole of Cardiac Arrest awareness week/month/ever. It’s really sad it takes something like that for the world to stand up and notice. It’s sad that no one thinks it’s important until it happens to one of their heroes or a celebrity. All those kids in Kerry’s class might now think, ‘if it can happen to one of the leading, fittest players in world football, it could happen to my dad, it could happen to my friend at the park, it could happen to anyone’.

We are still yet to learn what caused Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest; I hope that people talk about his condition and it raises awareness when we do. Out of the horrific images we all saw, good must come. I highly doubt it would be Long QT syndrome given the number of medical tests and ECGs professional athletes endure but who knows. I remember watching when it was Fabrice Muamba lying on the pitch receiving CPR. I’m sure lots of people in the UK at least do. I bet not many can name his condition. Maybe this time it’ll be different, maybe this time people will get the message and really, and I mean really, appreciate the importance of CPR. Isla wouldn’t be here without CPR, and I know, ‘but Dave, you have to know it because of Isla.’ I reply back, ‘You have to know it too because no one knew it would happen to Eriksen, you don’t know if it will happen to your partner, your child.’

There’s a reason they’re called ‘Sudden’ cardiac arrests. Learn CPR.

Thank you to those who messaged after Saturday, it meant a lot to know that people realised how it would have affected me and checked in. It’s probably pushed me back about a year in terms of therapy but it’ll keep my psychologist in a job so every cloud 😂

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