Medics who saved Eriksen's life to receive Uefa president's award

Arsh Asthana/Dubai
Filed on August 25, 2021
Denmark fans are seen behind a banner in support of midfielder Christian Eriksen after the Euro match between Denmark and Belgium in Copenhagen on June 17, 2021. Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during his country's first match of the tournament. (AFP)

Earlier this month, Eriksen visited Inter Milan's training facility for the first time since his collapse

The medical team that saved Christian Eriksen’s life at the Uefa Euro 2020 this summer will receive the 2021 Uefa Presidents Award, Uefa announced on their official website on Tuesday.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin described the recipients of the award as “the true heroes of Euro 2020. It is indeed a great honour for me to present them with the Uefa President’s Award.

“This year, the President’s Award transcends football,” he said. “It serves as an important and eternal reminder of just how precious life is and puts everything in our lives into the clearest perspective,” he added.

“I would also like to send my very best wishes to Christian Eriksen and his family as he continues his recovery.”

The recipients of the award include the On-site medical team, which consists of Mogens Kreutzfeldt (chief medical officer), Frederik Flensted (stadium medical manager), Anders Boesen (pitchside emergency doctor) and Peder Ersgaard (paramedic) along with Uefa Venue Medical Officers Jens Kleinefeld, Valentin Velikov and the Danish national medical team Morten Skjoldager (physio accompanying the team doctor) and Morten Boesen (team doctor).

Denmark national team captain Simon Kjær will also be honoured, for his swift response to the situation. He was one of the first players to reach over to Eriksen, he put him in the recovery position, and started the initial CPR procedure. While Eriksen was being given medical treatment, he also led his Danish team mates in forming a protective ring.

Eriksen sent out a message to the medical team and his Danish teammates thanking them for their support and for saving his life.

“I would like to thank Morten (Skjoldager), Morten (Boesen) and the medical team who helped in Parken on 12 June. You did a fantastic job and saved my life,” said Eriksen.

“Also a big thanks to my friend and captain Simon and my teammates in the Danish team for your support, both on 12 June and afterwards.

“Thanks to all the fans who have sent messages to me and my family. It means a lot and has given us strength and support. Thank you.”

The Danish midfielder collapsed during Denmark’s 1-0 loss to Finland, in their Euros group stage opener. Shortly before half time, Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field as he attempted to receive a throw-in. Simon Kjær was the first one to respond, performing CPR to clear his pathways, before Denmark’s medical team arrived and used a defibrillator. He was then stretchered off the pitch and taken to a local hospital where he later underwent surgery to insert an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a device designed to prevent cardiac arrest and regulate heart rhythm.

Earlier this month, Eriksen visited Inter Milan’s training facility for the first time since his collapse. Inter provided an update on his condition.

“Eriksen is doing well and is in excellent physical and mental shape. He will now follow the recovery programme put forward by Danish doctors in Copenhagen, who will also co-ordinate the clinical follow-up. The Inter medical staff will naturally be kept informed and up to date throughout the process,” Inter Milan said.

A return date for the Inter Milan midfielder is still not set, since regulations in Serie A prohibits the use of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

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