A young football player who had a heart attack during a local match in Victoria has met the man who saved his life.
Liam Birch, 19, was playing footy in Wallan, north of Melbourne, at the start of June when he suddenly collapsed on the field.
“When I woke up I just thought I got knocked out and then when I got in the ambulance they told me I had a cardiac arrest and I was just shocked,” he recalled.
Tony Freeman saw the teen fall, and without hesitation ran out and performed CPR, saving his life.
“Pretty sure I knew what had happened, so I ran down to the fence and when the trainer rolled him on his side I knew that he needed CPR.” Mr Freeman said.
The 19-year-old was able thank his hero in person on Saturday and says he will never take his life for granted again.
“He’s not a complete stranger anymore. He’s my hero. He saved my life so I owe him the world, I don’t know what I can do to thank him,” Liam said.
Liam spent 11 days in hospital and now has a heart-starter device in his chest.
The game on Saturday was a rematch between the teams that were playing when Liam collapsed.
He says it’s bittersweet not being able to run out with his mates and finish the game properly. But he is counting down the days until he’s healthy enough to return to the field.
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Luckily, the teen’s younger brother stepped up to take his place.
“He’s taller than me now so it’s good that he’s out there,” Mr Birch said.