Hibs' stars respond to the 'distressing' images of Christian Eriksen fighting for his life by donating defibrillators to capital youth clubs
Hibs’ Paul Hanlon says he watched in horror as Denmark’s Christian Eriksen fought for his life during the nation’s opening Euro 2020 match and the Easter Road star has responded by donating defibrillators to four Edinburgh youth clubs.
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The Inter Milan striker pulled through thanks to the quick-thinking actions of his captain Simon Kjaer, who raced to his aid after he collapsed on the Copenhagen pitch, and moved him into the recovery position and made sure his airways were clear before starting CPR until medics took over.
As he lay on the ground, they used a defibrillator to shock the 29 year-old’s heart back to life and having watched it all unfold, Hanlon says it is important that as many people as possible learn how to do CPR and that defibrillators are widely available.
“It was terrible. I’m sure everyone was the same watching it, it was one of the worst things I’ve ever watched during a football match.
“I was sitting on the couch with my head in my hands. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was really distressing and just put to the forefront of our minds how important it is to get defibrillators out to people.”
Yesterday, the Hibs stalwart, along with team-mate Lewis Stevenson, through their Hanlon Stevenson Foundation, handed over defibrillators to Hutchison Vale, Leith Athletic, Salvesen and Street Soccer Scotland.
“This was an initiative we’ve had in place for a while now, ever since we started the Foundation,” said Hanlon. “But what happened [to Eriksen] really brought into focus that we need to get these distributed to all the local football clubs. Hopefully they’re never used but if they’re needed then we are delighted they will be in place to help people.”
And, he would like to see clubs introduce CPR training for all players and coaches
“It’s a good idea because you just never know what situations you’ll find yourself in. Christian Eriksen was lucky in a way that it happened in a stadium that had medics on hand within minutes and he got the best of care. But there could be a time when that’s not the case so we need to get as many people as possible educated on how to use these devices and how to do general CPR.”