Denmark’s Christian Eriksen to receive heart starter device after cardiac arrest

Fans of both Denmark and Belgium showed their support for Christian Eriksen during today’s match.

Fans of both Denmark and Belgium showed their support for Christian Eriksen during today’s match.
Image: Getty Images

Christian Eriksen will receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a heart starter device, days after his suffering cardiac arrest in a soccer game. The Danish player collapsed during the team’s opening match against Finland last Saturday in the Euro 2020 tournament.

Danish team doctor Morten Boesen gave an update on Eriksen and the ICD today. “After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD,” he said. “This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythmic disturbances.”

The pacemaker-like implant will help regulate dangerously abnormal heart rhythms with electrical pulses.

Boesen continued, “Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment. We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy the following time.”

Just days ago, the same doctor said that Eriksen was “gone” before resuscitation. Now, thankfully, he is alive and seems to be doing alright.

Before the match, Danish team captain Simon Kjær — who helped save Eriksen’s life by giving him CPR and stabilizing his neck before medics arrived — released a statement on his friend and upcoming match against Belgium:

“The only thing that is important and really matters, is that Christian is OK!!” He wrote. “I am proud of how we acted as a team and how we stood together in these difficult times. I am touched and very grateful for all the support.”

The captain went on to say the team “will play for Christian” and “we will do our best!”

The start of the match looked good for the Danes. 100 seconds into the game, Yussuf Poulsen ripped one into the back of the net.

(Belgium would later tie it up in the 54th minute, and score again in the 70th for the win.)

Minutes after the Denmark goal, both sides honored Eriksen, who wears No. 10., during the tenth minute of play. Players, coaches, referees, and fans all stood up to clap for the player in a nearby hospital. The cheerining lasted for a minute.

As my colleague Sam Fels recently mentioned, watching Eriksen almost lose his life playing a game made this all seem meaningless. Then again, these moments make sports also seem meaningful, somehow.