McEveley heart stopped during op

05 November 2009 08:55
A fortnight ago, McEveley went under the knife to correct the facial injury he sustained during the Rams' Championship defeat at Middlesbrough, but during the operation his heart stopped and doctors fought for two minutes to resuscitate the 24-year-old.

McEveley, who will celebrate the birth of his first child before the end of the year, is not expected to suffer any long-term heart problems following the scare but admits the ordeal has changed his perspective on life.

Recalling the events of October 22, he said: "I've had operations under general anaesthetic before and I thought this would just be another routine procedure, but it didn't go according to plan. My heart decided to stop when I was on the operating table.

"Obviously, I didn't realise until I woke up in intensive care when I was wired to machines that were monitoring me and my heart.

"I didn't really know where I was at first and my chest was hurting a bit but then the doctors explained to me what had happened.

"I was told my heart had stopped for two minutes. When I was told it was pure shock. I couldn't believe it. It was so surreal.

"If it was 10 or 20 seconds or something like that then I probably wouldn't have thought much about it but two minutes is a long time and it was very scary.

"I don't know if it was a reaction to the anaesthetic, but I've had five operations now and never had anything like that.

"They put contacts in your eyes for the operation because they are going near your face. I was told that there are lots of nerves in your face that are connected to your heart and the doctors said that if they touch one of them it could slow your heart rate, so that could've been the cause.

"I was told that because I have a slow resting heart rate anyway because I am physically fit, it then just went right down and stopped."

McEveley added: "They kept me in hospital for a while and did some tests on my heart and everything seems okay. I was wondering whether I'd ever be able to play again because you hear about players collapsing on the pitch.

"It has been racing through my mind that when I'm running and my heart is working at a high intensity is it going to give way on me? But thankfully I've been told it won't affect my career or my life."

The operation on McEveley's cheekbone was a success and, after being fitted for a protective mask, he will be included in Derby's squad for the league game against midlands rivals Coventry at Pride Park on Friday night.

Remarkably, McEveley is not the only Derby player to have suffered a heart scare recently.

The promising career of young defender Mark O'Brien has been temporarily put on hold after a routine scan revealed a heart defect.

The 16-year-old has had surgery and it is hoped he will be back in action in January.

Derby 5/4, Draw 9/4, Coventry 9/4  

Source: Team_Talk