Boro Academy doctor hailed a hero after helping to save life of fan
Written by Training Ground Guru — October 18, 2021
MIDDLESBROUGH Academy doctor Tom Prichard has spoken about the moment he helped to save the life of a Newcastle United fan who had collapsed during their match against Tottenham yesterday.
Prichard, who works part-time with Boro’s Academy as well as with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust as an Accident and Emergency registrar, performed CPR on the fan after he had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Prichard told BBC Breakfast: “There was an elderly gentleman laid out on the seats in cardiac arrest, and CPR ongoing. Luckily, St John’s got the pads on quickly.
“Another friend came over as well, and we gave the guy a shock through the defibrillator. He was quite fortunate as very quickly an intensive care doctor arrived, a cardiologist arrived, and we were able to bring him back again.
“I had no idea what was going on behind me. I had no idea the match had been stopped. It wasn't just me, a friend was helping out, another doctor, and the other two doctors there.
“St John's were brilliant. The club doctor came over as well to lend a hand, it really wasn't just me.”
The players had to be taken from the field during a stoppage of more than 20 minutes and Newcastle's Head of Medical, Dr Paul Catterson, ran across the pitch with a defibrillator to offer his assistance. After being stabilised, the supporter was recovering last night at the nearby Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he was said to be awake and responsive.
His son, Paul Smith, said “The fan is my father. He is awake and alert in hospital, but has no memory of being at the game today. I wish to thank every single person who helped him, it could have been a totally different outcome without them.”
Footage later emerged (see above) on social media of Prichard being applauded as he returned to his seat after helping the stricken fan to leave the ground.
"I would say when I was walking back to my seat and 10,000 fans in the Gallowgate were chanting ‘hero’ at me, that is one of the best moments of my life,” he said.