Eriksen incident prompts boy to fundraise for defibrillators Brighton News

A schoolboy whose father nearly died of cardiac arrest was inspired to raise money for a defibrillator for his school after watching Christian Eriksen collapse at Euro 2020.

Ralph Bowden’s father almost died has since been fitted with an implantable defibrillator – or ICD – like the former Tottenham Hotspur player.

Ralph will now go on a sponsored 10-mile bike ride in honor of the midfielder who wears the number 10 of the Danish national team.

Ralph said he wanted to help the students and staff at Jessie Younghusband Primary School in Woodlands Lane, Chichester.

“I wanted to do this bike ride because of what happened to my dad and Christian Eriksen,” he said.

“There are a lot of staff and people in my school, and I want everyone to be safe.

“I think it’s going to be quite difficult to cycle 10 miles, but I hope it encourages people to donate money.”

The Argus: Christian Eriksen in the hospitalChristian Eriksen in the hospital

Ralph was watching the Denmark vs Finland game with his parents at his home in Chichester when the 29-year-old Inter Milan star unexpectedly fell to the ground.

His father Dean said it brought back memories of his own cardiac arrest in 2007 when he was just 21.

Dean, who is now 34, said: “When I saw Christian Eriksen collapse I looked at my wife and told her we had to turn around.

“There was no one near him and, because of what had happened to me, I knew it was serious and susceptible to cardiac arrest.

“We changed the channel, but Ralph was asking a lot of questions about what had happened to the footballer and why we had turned around.

Fortunately, within 15 minutes or so, images started circulating on social media showing that Eriksen was conscious and was going to be fine.

“My wife and I were then able to explain what had happened. Ralph knows that I have already had cardiac arrest and that I have a special box in my chest to keep me alive.

“Seeing what happened to Christian Eriksen made him realize what had happened to me. And that’s when he decided he wanted to buy a defibrillator for his school.”

The Danish ace’s life was saved by rapid CPR and the use of a defibrillator – just like Dean.

Dean’s cardiac arrest was caused by a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an inherited disease of the heart muscle.

About one in 500 people in the UK suffers from the disease, although most people who do have little or no symptoms and can lead normal lives.

The Argus: Ralph Bowden with his father DeanRalph Bowden with his father Dean

Dean, who works as an independent mortgage broker, said, “I was working for a bank at the time. It seemed like a normal day. I went to the printer to get some papers and collapsed on the floor.

“I have no recollection of what happened, but someone heard me fall. They found me unconscious and without a pulse. Two co-workers started giving me CPR.

“When the ambulance arrived, they used a defibrillator and then rushed me to the hospital. I was placed in an induced coma and put on life support for the next 27 hours.”

Ralph will travel 10 miles along the Centurion Way on July 17 to raise money for the defibrillator.

Defibrillators are used to treat people who have cardiac arrest – a critical medical emergency where the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body.

Unless treated immediately, cardiac arrest will lead to death within minutes.

Hannah Miller, head of fundraising for the British Heart Foundation, said: “I have nothing but admiration for Ralph’s fundraising. He saw these shocking scenes and his thoughts immediately turned to how he could help others.

“Ralph is clearly a remarkable young man, and we hope he can make his fundraising cycle a success.”

People can donate online to Ralph’s fundraising campaign

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This notice was published: 2021-07-03 14:40:00

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