Wigan striker Charlie Wyke has thanked Latics manager Leam Richardson and club doctor Jonathan Tobin for saving his life after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Wyke collapsed in training on November 22 and Richardson and Tobin, who used to work at Bolton and was among four men that helped save Fabrice Muamba when the midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest at Tottenham in March 2012, stabilised his condition.
The 28-year-old left the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital on Thursday after undergoing a medical procedure this week.
After undergoing testing and monitoring over the last 10 days, the procedure, which is reversible, saw Wyke fitted with an implantable defibrillator to provide him with protection on his road to recovery.
In a statement posted on Wigan’s website, Wyke – who hopes to return to full training next year – said: “First and foremost, I just want to stress my sincere appreciation to the club’s medical staff and the NHS staff who have cared for me after I was taken into hospital last week.
“In particular, I would like to mention Dr Rob Cooper from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for everything he has done for me over the last week or so.
“I feel it’s important to tell my story to our supporters and to the wider public, because my life has been saved by the actions of the gaffer (Richardson) and the club doctor Jonathan Tobin, and my story may well save another life.
“As you are aware, I collapsed during training on Monday. I suffered a cardiac arrest and required CPR, and I am told it was only the quick response of the gaffer to initiate the resuscitation process and then the continuation from the doc that saved my life.
“I will be forever grateful that due to their actions – and those of my teammates and other staff – I am here to talk to about the experience.
“Thankfully, just a few weeks ago, the training ground staff had received CPR training, which has clearly proven to be life-saving with the way in which the gaffer reacted to my collapse and initiated the CPR on the training pitch.
“I think that sends out a message of just how important it is that coaches and staff have that training.
“The support from my teammates over the last few days has been incredible. The gesture to celebrate with my shirt at Plymouth just goes to show what a top group of lads we have here at Wigan.
“I’ve heard the fans singing my name when I’ve been watching the games from hospital too, which has been amazing to hear – I’m really thankful for that support.
“I have received thousands of messages from supporters of all of the clubs I have played for, the wider football community and beyond, and the well-wishes have meant the world to me and my family.
“It was a real boost for me to see the photo of my former teammates at Sunderland wishing me well – a class touch from a great set of lads.
“I’m looking forward to going home to my son, partner and friends and family for the next few days.
“I can’t wait to get back to the training ground next week to see the lads, where I will start some light training that begins the process of hopefully being able to get back to full training with the team next year.”
Wigan chief executive Mal Brannigan said: “Clearly it was a traumatic experience for those that witnessed Charlie’s collapse and everyone has rallied together to support one another in the days that have followed.
“We’re looking forward to Charlie’s return to Christopher Park next week. As Leam mentioned at the weekend, Charlie isn’t just an excellent footballer but a really good person that is so popular amongst his teammates and the staff here.”
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