The doctor who helped bring Christian Eriksen back to life after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a Euro 2020 match last week has revealed what the Danish star said in the moments after he regained consciousness.
It comes as Denmark’s national team doctor has announced that Eriksen will have a pacemaker fitted after his cardiac attack was caused by ‘rhythm disturbances’.
The Inter Milan and former Tottenham midfielder collapsed during the first half of the group game in Copenhagen and required 13 minutes of CPR before he was taken to hospital in a stable condition, where he remains.
German doctor Jens Kleinefeld was one of the first people on the scene at the Parken Stadium and helped deliver an electric shock that restarted the 29-year-old’s heart. He’s now revealed what Eriksen said in the moments after he regained consciousness.
Kleinefeld told Fox Sports: ‘About 30 seconds later, the player opened his eyes and I could talk to him directly.
‘That was a very moving moment, because in such medical emergencies in everyday life, the chances of success are much lower.’
Kleinefeld revealed he then asked Eriksen, ‘Well, are you back with us?’ and Eriksen replied: ‘Yes, I am back with you. For f***s sake, I’m only 29 years old.’
Christian Eriksen’s first words after his cardiac arrest have been revealed by the doctor who treated him on the pitch
The Danish star suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 game with Finland
German doctor Jens Kleinefeld was one of the first people immediately on the scene at the Parken Stadium
What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (pacemaker) is a small device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.
It sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms, specifically those that can be dangerous and cause a cardiac arrest.
If an ICD notices a dangerous heart rhythm it can deliver one or more of the following treatments:
Pacing – a series of low-voltage electrical impulses (paced beats) at a fast rate to try and correct the heart rhythm.
Cardioversion – one or more small electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
Defibrillation – one or more larger electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
Danish national team doctor Morten Boesen announced on Thursday morning that Eriksen will be given an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to regulate his heart’s rhythm.
A statement read: ‘After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD.
‘This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.
‘Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.
‘We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy the following time’.
It was announced on Wednesday that Belgium will kick the ball into touch in the 10th minute of their game against Denmark on Thursday night – allowing them to applaud Eriksen as he continues to recover.
It will be only the second time Denmark have taken to the field since the incident and Belgian striker Lukaku said it was important to his team – with many of the squad having played with the 29-year-old in the past.
‘After 10 minutes of the match we will put the ball in touch to applaud,’ Lukaku said.
‘Several players from our country have played with him but we will be there to win and that is the most important.’
Eriksen posted the first picture of himself in hospital since suffering a cardiac arrest on Tuesday.
In the caption, the 29-year old said: ‘Hello everyone. Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family.
‘I’m fine – under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay.
‘Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark. Best, Christian’.
Eriksen gave fans a thumbs up on Instagram this week from hospital after his cardiac arrest
Eriksen said: ‘I’m fine – under the circumstances and still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay’
On Monday, Eriksen also thanked fans for their support and concern, and vowed to get to the bottom of why he experienced such a sudden and serious health emergency in a short statement released to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport via his agent.
Eriksen’s statement read: ‘Thank you, I won’t give up. I feel better now – but I want to understand what’s happened.
‘I want to say thank you all for what you did for me.’
England’s Kieran Trippier, Wales’s Gareth Bale and Scotland’s Andrew Robertson were three of the players who featured, as well as Spain coach Luis Enrique and Holland manager Frank de Boer.
The UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin opened the messages and the video finished with Anthony Taylor, the referee in charge of the Denmark vs Finland match, wishing Eriksen well.
Wales star Gareth Bale was among the players and coaches from every Euro 2020 wishing Eriksen a speedy recovery in a video published by the Danish FA
Eriksen’s former Tottenham team-mate Kieran Trippier, of England, also featured in the video
In between were kind words from a representative from each of the 23 participating countries other than Denmark, either in English or their native language. In some, the entire squad of players is present.
Trippier, a former team-mate of Eriksen’s at Tottenham Hotspur, said: ‘I just want to say that I’m thinking of you. We’re hoping for a speedy recovery, we’re all behind you.
‘We send best wishes to your kids, your wife and the whole family. Take care mate!’
Bale, who left Spurs just as Eriksen joined the club in 2013, said: ‘I just wanted to say on behalf of everyone here with the Wales football team, we’re glad to see you getting better, we wish you a speedy recovery and all the best for the future.’
In his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Thomas Delaney said Denmark have been strengthened in the wake of Eriksen’s collapse.
As they prepare for Thursday’s fixture against Belgium at the same venue still processing what happened, midfielder Delaney said: ‘It’s hard. It’s a situation none of us have ever imagined could happen, and that’s how it felt on the pitch. It felt surreal.
‘It was a really good setting for all of us to be together to talk about it together. I’ve experienced a lot in this squad for the past few days.
Thomas Delaney said Denmark have been strengthened in the wake of Eriksen’s collapse
‘Everyone had the opportunity to be honest about their feelings and it’s been a good thing.
‘It’s nice that we all know each other and everyone can just be themselves. It’s a terrible situation, but thankfully it’s a nice place to be right now.’
Skipper Simon Kjaer was quick to realise Eriksen was in trouble and to summon medical help, and he and the remaining members of the team formed a protective shield around the stricken former Tottenham star as he was treated.
Many were visibly moved, while others prayed with team doctor Morten Boesen, who later revealed he ‘was gone’.
Delaney said: ‘Some things need to be done very, very fast and Simon Kjaer arrived very fast and we called for help.
‘Unfortunately, I’ve done this before. We decided to make this shield to protect him. It was not only to protect Christian and the medical staff, but also Christian’s friends and family.
‘It was not a fun situation to be in, but it was a way we could help Christian.’