I was technically dead for two minutes 40 seconds after cardiac arrest – Tom Lockyer

Tom Lockyer, a football player for Wales who suffered a cardiac arrest, says he will prioritize his family’s needs before making any decisions on a potential comeback.

In December, when playing Bournemouth in the Premier League, the 29-year-old defender for Luton Town passed out on the field.

For two minutes and forty seconds, he declared himself to be “technically dead”.

After medical professionals revived Lockyer, he claimed that the possibility of what might have happened still troubled him.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, he remarked, “I’m really lucky because there’s every chance I wouldn’t be here if this hadn’t happened on a football pitch.”

“And the thought of that, leaving my girlfriend [who is pregnant] to raise a child on her own, is heartbreaking.”

This was Lockyer’s second cardiac incident since he collapsed after the Hatters’ play-off final victory over Coventry City at Wembley in May of last year.

Prior to the second incident on December 16 at Vitality Stadium, he was allowed to play again following minor surgery and captained Luton in the top level, scoring his first Premier League goal along the way.

“My dad and girlfriend were at the game,” Lockyer recounted.

Since the ball was somewhere else and she had witnessed me fall, she was staring at me when it happened.

“She added that she realized right away that it was serious.

“Her friend, who she was with, said she let out a massive scream that would live with her forever.”

He declared himself “forever grateful” to the medical personnel for coming to his rescue so fast.

“Without them people who were incredible under the pressure, I wouldn’t be here today and I wouldn’t be lucky enough to be waiting to welcome a little girl into the world,” he stated.

Lockyer currently has an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) that is intended to immediately restart the heart should something similar happen in the future.

“It took some time to get used to, as it’s much larger than I had anticipated,” Lockyer remarked, displaying the scar on his side from the device’s installation.

“But it doesn’t affect my golf swing, I’m still rubbish!”

Focus on the baby

He now has more time to enjoy other interests, such as building a 6,000-piece Lego set of Hogwarts Castle, thanks to his recuperation.


Tom Lockyer
“I’m a big Harry Potter fan, so I really enjoyed doing that one.”

He is open about his desire to play football again, but he acknowledges that it might not be his choice in the end.

“On the one hand I’m eternally grateful that, if I have to retire, I’m so lucky I’ve got to play in the Premier League, score in the Premier League, represent my country, all these incredible things,” he stated.

However, I’m thinking, ‘I’d love a little bit more.'”

“Obviously, I wouldn’t defy medical advice, but it’s still much too early to tell, and the baby’s future holds bigger plans.

“I would have to speak to the family before I’d consider returning – my focus is on the baby now.”


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