COBRAM footballer Daniel McIntyre is back with the people who saved his life after a cardiac arrest that left him clinically dead at football training this month.
No one could have predicted McIntyre’s brush with death when he started Thursday night training as usual on August 1.
The apparently fit and healthy McIntyre ran warm-up laps and then collapsed with an interrupted blood flow to his heart.
Head trainer Steve Tomlinson rushed to perform CPR.
“I did it for more than five minutes,” Tomlinson said yesterday.
“When the paramedics took over, I turned around and there was a crowd watching — I sensed an eerie silence.”
McIntyre was in the Great Northern Hospital, at Epping, in Melbourne for 16 days and Saturday was the first time most clubmates had seen him since.
He was back in town for Cobram’s last match of the season, a win over Moama, and for Ambulance Victoria to acknowledge those who saved him with basic life support — Tomlinson, Tess Lane, Brittany Brunskill and Paul Ukich — with a commendation.
The cardiac arrest was a shock to McIntyre who saw himself as fit and healthy and with no family history of heart problems.
Doctors still haven’t worked out why he collapsed but believe he has a heart defect.
“It came as a big shock,” McIntyre said.
“It’s fortunate I was fit enough to recover.”
Football club president Chris Ryan said the club had previously sought a grant for a defibrillator to avoid such incidents but had missed out.
“They should be mandatory at all clubs,” he said. “This incident shows how important it is to have one.”
The football club and community responded to McIntyre’s collapse by raising the money for a defibrillator within 24 hours of his collapse.
Tomlinson said he had had sleepless nights after the incident, waiting for McIntyre to regain consciousness.
“I would think about whether we started CPR quickly enough and did the right thing,” he said.
“I’m relieved he woke up and is walking around here today.”
Tomlinson played down the local hero tag, saying but he had done what anybody would do.
“It’s nice to get the recognition but the ambulance service does this kind of thing everyday so I was just grateful I was there,” he said.
McIntyre said while he was unlikely to play football again, he hoped to soon resume to normal activities.