Chris Pronger tells story of personal expertise with freak coronary heart damage

NHL legend Chris Pronger took to Twitter on Wednesday to share the story of his expertise with commotio cordis, the identical cardiac occasion suffered by Buffalo Payments security Damar Hamlin in early January. (Getty Pictures)

On Jan. 2, the complete sporting world held its breath when Buffalo Payments security Damar Hamlin collapsed on the sector throughout a Week 17 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.

After tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, Hamlin obtained a shot to the chest that despatched his coronary heart into cardiac arrest. It was believed that Hamlin suffered from a cardiac occasion generally known as commotio cordis, a uncommon however doubtlessly deadly disruption to regular coronary heart rhythm that outcomes from a robust blow to the chest. Assist from all around the world rushed in as he was administered earlier than being taken to the hospital the place he spent per week recovering.

In solidarity, legendary NHL defenceman Chris Pronger supplied an intimate and detailed account of his personal expertise with the phenomenon by way of a Twitter thread on Wednesday.

On Might 10, 1998, Pronger and the St. Louis Blues confronted off in opposition to the Detroit Pink Wings within the second spherical of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Through the third interval, Pronger blocked a slapshot that hit him within the chest — simply to the left of his coronary heart — and struggled to get to the bench, ultimately collapsing to the ice in an analogous solution to Hamlin.

“I blacked out whereas on the ice however earlier than passing out I used to be capable of rise up and stumble ahead a pair steps earlier than collapsing,” stated Pronger over Twitter. “When the coach obtained me, my eyes had rolled again in my head and my lips had been turning blue. He eliminated my helmet and felt for a pulse.”

Feeling none, the coach started performing chest compressions and CPR, rebooting Pronger’s system and making him the primary athlete to outlive commotio cordis on the time, and solely the fourth individual to outlive the cardiac occasion identified to medical doctors as much as that time. After spending the night time within the hospital and the next 24 hours with a coronary heart monitor, he was cleared to play the subsequent recreation.

Right here is the video of the incident.

Nevertheless, there was nonetheless the psychological facet that Pronger struggled with, not figuring out if he might play freely and neglect concerning the near-death expertise he had been by way of mere days in the past, however the overwhelming help he obtained from followers and teammates alike spurred him on to maintain enjoying.

“As I left the ice from warmup, I assumed to myself, ‘how can I not play on this recreation?’ What an surroundings to be part of,” stated Pronger. “The roar of the group after I skated onto the ice for the sport was one thing to behold.”

Pronger went on to play greater than 1,100 video games over an 18-year profession and was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2015, taking place as one of many hardest gamers in NHL historical past.

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