Two doctors who were playing football saved their friends life after he suffered a heart attack.
Dilraj Sagoo had been had been playing on the pitch with two doctors at St Margaret’s Pastures in Abbey Park, Leicester in a seven-a-side game when he started to feel tightness in his chest and decided to sit down.
Dr Ismail Daya and Dr Nadeem Ackbarally, both locum GPs, rushed to him from the pitch.
Ismail, of Evington, Leicester, said: “I heard someone else screaming and looked over and Dilraj was flat on his face. I ran to him and there was no pulse. It was really shocking at the time.
“He was dead. He was on the ground not breathing and there were about 40 people including kids watching. It’s awful to think how it would have been if he hadn’t made it.”
Nadeem rushed to help Ismail and the pair started chest compressions and shouted for someone to see if there was a defibrillator about.
Luckily there was one at the site but even with it there was still only an outside chance they would be able to bring Dilraj back to life without all the equipment and drugs that would be used in a hospital.
Nadeem, of Oadby, said: “Chest compressions alone very rarely start a heart going again and even if you have a defibrillator you need some electrical activity in the heart for it to work so it’s not guaranteed to bring someone back to life. Luckily Dilraj could be saved because he had a shockable rhythm.”
While Nadeem had done CPR in the past, he had never done it on a friend before.
He said: “I’ve known Dilraj for six years and I knew he was married and had a young boy so it was horrible.
“I remember thinking, ‘You can’t die. It’s not an option’.
“It was very surreal. After he was shocked we kept doing compressions and he started groaning after about 10 seconds or so.
“He told me, ‘Nad, don’t worry. I’ve just had a nap’.
“He had no idea what had gone on. But everything had just worked out perfectly.
“It was an amazing bit of luck, or fate, or whatever, that two doctors and a defibrillator were right there. If it had happened at home it would have been very different.”
Describing what happened from his perspective, Dilraj, a 45-year-old dad from Anstey, said: “I just felt a tightness in my chest after about an hour of playing.
“It felt like the symptoms of a heart attack but I wasn’t worried – if it was a heart attack it would hurt a lot more, I thought.
“I sat down and the pain dissipated but then I went to pick up a football that was kicked from another pitch and felt worse again.
“I told my friend in goal I was going home and started to walk back to my car and had a sudden dizzy spell.
“The next thing I knew I was coming to, lying on the ground next to the defibrillator. No one said I’d died so I told them I wanted to go home.
“They said, ‘You’re not going anywhere. There’s an ambulance coming for you’!”
He spent three nights at Glenfield Hopsital and had a stent inserted in the artery that had caused the heart attack to prevent it happening again.
He said: “If it wasn’t for Nadeem and Ismail I wouldn’t be here.
“I’m also very fortunate there was a defibrillator and I want to advocate for more to be dotted around the county because they are critical.
“A lot of things came together to save my life.”