‘Just regular folks to superheroes in 10 minutes’
A group of Brisbane soccer club members have been hailed as heroes after saving the life of a 16-year-old boy.
Tyler Newman was playing goalkeeper in a casual game with mates at the Slacks Creek Tigers Soccer Club last month when he went into cardiac arrest.
Several people helped to revive Tyler, who had turned blue, by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and using the club's donated defibrillator machine on him three times before ambulances arrived.
Paramedics and doctors from the High Acuity Response Unit placed Tyler into a medically induced coma before taking him to the Queensland Children's Hospital.
Tim Newman said his son later underwent an 8-hour heart operation and remained in hospital for 16 days - with 11 of them in the Intensive Care Unit - after being diagnosed with a rare exercise-induced heart condition.
"There was one night in the hospital where I was trying to say thanks to a surgeon, but he said 'no, no, if it wasn't for the people at the soccer club, Tyler would have died," he said.
"(The surgeon) said what he did was very controlled and calculated and he had trained many years for it, but those people who stood up at the soccer club and did the CPR regular people going about their regular lives.
Mr Newman, 46, of Cornubia said the heart condition was undiagnosed and non-hereditary.
"Tyler has always been active. If it had happened to him while at a beach or at school, he probably would have died," he said.
"We are very, very fortunate and grateful for the people at the soccer club who took the initiative to do effective CPR and who used the defibrillator."
Mr Newman said Tyler visited the club, on Rose Street in Daisy Hill, Saturday to thank as many people as he could in person.
"They are absolute legends. They all get the most valuable player award," he said.
"Those people just instantly went from their normal lives to positively impacting so many people's lives. They're the real heroes.
"I believe there were six or seven of them. Just regular folks who became superheroes in 10 minutes."
Scott Whimpey of Varsity Lakes-based First Aid Accident and Emergency (FAAE) recounted the moment Tyler collapsed in a YouTube video, which also highlighted the importance of knowing first aid and having a defibrillator.
The company donated Tyler with his own defibrillator this week as part of their Forward Hearts - Paying it Forward program.
"As part of our commitment to the community anyone that has is successfully resuscitated we donate them a defibrillator to do whatever they want they with," he said.
Mr Whimpey said he spoke to one of the club members who had helped revive Tyler.
"She said he was 'so dead', so beyond life, that she can't believe that he's here now."
He said the CPR also saved Tyler from suffering brain damage.
"If CPR isn't started in first three minutes, usually there is a signification amount of brain damage," he said.
Mr Whimpey, 50, said the heart condition was typically not able to be diagnosed until a child was fully developed.
"It's a ticking time bomb," he said.
The rare condition, involves the coronary arteries and ultimately results in blood flow to the heart muscle being restricted or resulting in a lethal heart rhythm.
With Tyler, it could have happened anywhere at any time," he said.
The friend Tyler was playing soccer with when he collapsed, Jack Oudney, started a GoFundMe account, titled Support Tyler Newman's Family, a few days after he was taken to hospital.
More than $7000 has been raised out of a goal of $10,000.
Mr Newman said most of the funds would now be used to provide defibrillators or first aid kits to community groups and schools.
The soccer club's defibrillator, from FAAE, was donated to the club by the Kiefer family just under two years ago.
Originally published as 'Just regular folks to superheroes in 10 minutes'