Mother of 15-year-old who nearly died after collapsing during football match thanks NHS

The mother of a teenager who nearly died after collapsing during an under-15s football match has described her relief at his recovery and her gratitude to NHS staff.

Daniel Lowe, now 15, was playing for Stocksbridge U15s in a Sunday league match near Sheffield when he suffered a ventricular fibrillation.

Daniel Lowe, now 15, was playing for Stocksbridge U15s in a Sunday league match near Sheffield when he suffered a ventricular fibrillation (VF) - a rare disruption of the heartbeat that leads to a loss of consciousness and sudden death if not treated immediately.

Daniel, who was 14 at the time, was given CPR and treated with a defibrillator at the ground in the village of Oughtibridge after he collapsed in November 2018.

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He was flown to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where his mother Lynsey Lowe said medics saved his life.

Until his sudden collapse, his family thought he was a fit and healthy teenager.

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Mrs Lowe said: "I dropped him off and little did I know that this was not going to be like every other Sunday, it was the worst day of my entire life."

She said her daughter had finished a basketball match and they were on their way to catch what was left of Daniel's match when another parent called.

Mrs Lowe said: "I can still remember what they told me - 'Daniel's collapsed, he's not breathing, he's lifeless. Get here quick - it doesn't look good'.

"My world stopped and the words bounced around my head as I rushed to Daniel."

She arrived to find Daniel's coach giving him CPR and shocks from a defibrillator.

After three rounds, he started breathing again but was fighting for his life as he was rushed to the hospital, which is about six miles away.

Mrs Lowe said: "I wasn't taking in much of it, I was trying to stay strong for Daniel. I was just telling myself in my head, over and over, that he was safe now and that staff would keep him alive."

"I have no doubt that without Sheffield Children's on our doorstep, Daniel wouldn't be here today. We were told repeatedly how lucky he was to have survived.

"It's hard to find the words to thank the staff. We will never forget that day and will always be thankful for those who spend their lives trying to save others."

The hospital said Daniel has made a full recovery and has had an internal defibrillator and pacemaker implanted. He also takes medication daily.

Mrs Lowe said he has started playing football again but for a different team, at a lower level.

Now the family is supporting the Children's Hospital Charity appeal to build a new £4.5 million Emergency Department at the hospital.

The charity is running its appeal along with its Emergency Covid-19 appeal.

It also supports the partnership formed in 2014 with the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday Football League (SDJFL) through which every player contributes £1 to charity as part of their registration.

This has raised more than £23,000.

Mrs Lowe said: "Football was a massive part of his life before his arrest, he has returned to it and does still really enjoy it. What a great way for him to give back to the hospital that saved his life - by playing the sport he loves."

Tchad Western, corporate partnerships manager at the Children's Hospital Charity, said: "We're so thankful for the ongoing support of the thousands of families involved every season as we strive to build a better future for generations of young patients to come."

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