Thankfully, Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen is alive after suffering what’s now been confirmed as cardiac arrest.
But, today, Denmark’s national team doctor Morten Boesen offered a chilling account of the 29-year-old soccer player, saying he was “gone” before being resuscitated.
“He was gone, and we did cardiac resuscitation. It was a cardiac arrest,” Boesen said in a news conference. “How close were we [to losing Eriksen]? I don’t know.”
Bosen continued. “We got him back after one defibrillator, so that’s quite fast. I’m not a cardiologist, so the details I will leave to the experts at the hospital.”
Late in the first half yesterday of Denmark’s Euro 2020 opening match against Finland, Eriksen collapsed on the field. He received chest compressions and, eventually, was taken off on a stretcher.
But before medics surrounded Eriksen, Denmark team captain Simon Kjær was seen stabilizing his teammate’s neck and administering CPR. He also made sure Eriksen did not swallow his tongue. Those initial moves could have saved Eriksen’s life. The rest of the team, meanwhile, formed a perimeter around Eriksen to protect his privacy in the harrowing moment.
Once the medics arrived, Kjær consoled his teammates and Eriksen’s partner on the field.
Following the incident, players were asked if they would like to continue with the match. At that time, Denmark’s manager, Kasper Hjulmand, said he didn’t think the question was appropriate.
“Players were in a shock condition,” said Hjulmand. “Players who didn’t really know yet if they had lost their best friend. And they have to decide between these two things. And I have a sense that we shouldn’t have played.”
The match did go on, eventually. Eriksen even encouraged his teammates to keep playing.
Finland would go on to beat Denmark, 1-0. But what truly matters is that Eriksen will be alright.