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Teen Footballer Saved by Friends After Suffering Cardiac Arrest


14 year old Joel Massey from Hertforshire suffered a cardiac arrest whilst playing football with three friends earlier this year.


His heart had stopped for 10 minutes whilst his friends were performing life-saving CPR they had remembered learning from a First Aid class at school. It was the act of his friends which gave the best chance of survival possible until the paramedics arrived and were able to to restart his heart using a defibrillator. After getting his heart back to a regular rhythm, Joel was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.

It was discovered that Joel suffers from congenial heart disease Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an electrical defect which sometimes sees him suffer heart palpitations. Luckily his three friends Sam, Rhodri and Ben were all present to help save Joel’s life when this happened . Sam went for help, Rhodri called the emergency services and Ben performed CPR which he had rememberd from a biology class and as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. 

Hand on Heart Chairman David Howarth said; “It’s fantastic news that Joel is able to make a full recovery from his cardiac incident and we have to praise his friends quick-thinking and skills which saved his life. The CPR training they have learnt no doubt saved the boys life, whilst the quick thinking of calling the emergency services also proved vital as Joel was defibrillated as soon as possible.  This is first-hand proof that the more we teach young people the CPR skills, the more chance people have of surviving SCA.” 

We at Hand on Heart wish Joel an incredibly speedy recovery and are incredibly pleased that his friends had knowledge of the basic life skills which ultimately saved Joel’s life.