Wigan Athletic striker Charlie Wyke speaks after playing his first game since having a cardiac arrest during a training session.
November 2021, the 29-year-old was rushed to hospital after collapsing, with Latics’ boss Leam Richardson giving CPR and club doctor Jonathan Tobin immediately at his aid, before being taken to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan and later transferred to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.
After months of rest, recovery and rehab, Wyke is doing well with treatment ongoing, but many staff members, players and fans were thrilled as he made comeback on Tuesday when he started Wigan’s pre-season friendly clash away at non league side Bamber Bridge.
Wyke played the opening 45 minutes of the game with Richardson’s side winning 5-1. After the match, Wyke took to social media to thank all his well-wishers.
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) July 5, 2022
He wrote on Instagram : “What a feeling to be back on a football pitch. I never thought I would get the chance to play again and it’s been incredibly tough but to be back out there with the lads after 8 months is a amazing feeling! Still a way to go yet but another step in the right direction & looking forward to getting fitter and stronger over the next few weeks ready for the start of the season. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far & thank you for all the messages they really mean a lot.”
Following the cardiac arrest last year, Wyke had months of recovery before he issued a message to Wigan fans in March.
In it he hoped for a pre-season return and said Christian Eriksen served as an inspiration to him following the Dane’s similar experience of returning to playing after suffering a heart attack.
Wyke said: “I am in a good place both mentally and physically and I’m really positive about what the future holds. I’ve felt really good and have rebuilt a lot of my physical strength, which has been reassuring. In the next couple of weeks, I will undergo a planned medical procedure which requires a period of rest before I can restart training towards full fitness again.
“This does effectively rule out a return to playing this season, though it keeps me on target to hit my goal of being fully fit to start pre-season with the squad. Like everyone, I was delighted and inspired to see Christian Eriksen return to play for Brentford in the Premier League this weekend, eight months on from his collapse at the Euros. The last thing for me to say is that I wish the lads, the staff and supporters the very best for the rest of the season and thank you for your continued support and well wishes.”
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“Charlie has been in from day one and ticked every single session off – which I thought he would – and not just as part of the pack but being at the forefront of the running like he likes to be,” manager Leam Richardson explained on Wyke making positive strides.
“If anybody was ever going to put that shirt on again and get going again it was going to be Charlie.”
Wigan managed to win the League One title and deal a return to the Championship return after two years away, their last season in the division saw them deducted 12 points after the club lost its appeal to a 12-point deduction.
Wigan were handed the deduction for entering administration at the beginning of July, and were relegated by on-field results meaning the sanction applied to the 2019/20 Championship season.
Wyke will be hoping to be in the squad for their first game, at home to Preston on the 30th of July.
What are the signs of a cardiac arrest?
A cardiac arrest usually happens without warning. If someone is in cardiac arrest, they collapse suddenly and:
- will be unconscious
- will be unresponsive and
- won’t be breathing or breathing normally – not breathing normally may mean they’re making gasping noises.
Without immediate treatment or medical attention, the person will die. If you see someone having a cardiac arrest, phone 999 immediately and start CPR.
The main causes of cardiac arrest related to the heart are:
- a heart attack (caused by coronary heart disease)
- cardiomyopathy and some inherited heart conditions
- congenital heart disease
- heart valve disease
- acute myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
Some other causes of cardiac arrest include:
- a drug overdose
- a severe haemorrhage (known as hypovolaemic shock) – losing a large amount of blood
- hypoxia – caused by a severe drop in oxygen levels.
There was plenty of reaction as the Wigan striker speaks after playing his first game since the cardiac arrest during a training session lats year…
@emwafc_27: Can’t even put into words how much I’ve NEEDED football to come back. It really does wonders for the old mental health. Never ‘just a game’. PS. Charlie Wyke played 45 minutes of football today 9 months after he died. Nothing more fuckin Wigan than that 😍😍
@IanBalmer2: Good to see charlie playing again 💙
@_jordanhookway: Rivalries aside, I think the whole of football was happy to see this lad back on the football pitch! Wishing Charlie a healthy season. ⚽️
@sugarspunemily: absolute belter 😍💙💙
@ella_jade_: Highlight of the night, no doubt 💙
@Matty_knott: The things you love to see – glad to see Wyke back in action 👏🏻👏🏻 #wafc #bcafc
@WhatTheFalkPod: Great to see.
@alexb__96: We’d have absolutely pissed 100 points if he’d been able to play the entire season and all, not that that’s the most important thing but still
@OD_bcafc: Things you love to see 😃
@emwafc_27: My new preferred antidepressant is Chaz playing football 😍😍😍 go on the big man 👏🏻
@cddbass: Haway the lad, great to see him back for you 👍
@JackRowley7: Oh lay oh lay oh lay oh lay… Charlie Wyke Wyke Wyke! 💙
Great sights in football Latics number nine Charlie Wyke pic.twitter.com/iLwya4MHzh
— nobody important (@Thorpysays) July 5, 2022
— Paul Kendrick (@PKendrickWIG) July 5, 2022