Footballer, 19, home after surviving heart attack on pitch

Ryan Zon at his home in Aston.  He suffered a heart attack during a football match.
Ryan Zon at his home in Aston. He suffered a heart attack during a football match.

A 19-year-old footballer who almost died of a heart attack during a game in Sheffield is back home after five weeks in hospital.

Ryan Zon remembers nothing about his ordeal, which he survived because the opposition comprised doctors and trainee medics. Two doctors playing rugby off Warminster Road, Norton, also ran to his aid and helped to bring him back to life before an ambulance arrived.

“I can’t remember anything that happened to me on the day or even the week before,” said Ryan, who was playing for Swallownest Miners’ Welfare Reserves. “I can’t even remember waking up in hospital - probably because they had me on so many drugs afterwards.

“All I know is what people have told me happened, that I just dropped down and the opposition players battled to bring me round. I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to them when I was in hospital, and I will always be thankful to them for saving me.”

After surgery to have a small defibrillator implanted which will automatically correct any faltering heart rhythm, Ryan, of Aston, faces the prospect of never playing football again. “I just have to get on with things, there’s no point dwelling on it. What has happened has happened and I just have to move on.”