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27-year-old Sask. hockey player has massive heart attack shortly after game


Twenty-seven-year-old Devin Gerun was feeling chest pains during the second period of his senior men’s game. He had no idea he was about to have a heart attack.

“'ll be honest, I'm pretty lucky to be here still,” said Gerun.

Gerun’s Edam / Hafford team was playing in Leroy that day, Feb. 19. During the first overtime, he was taken to his team's dressing room, then his coach called EMS.

“Luckily, Leroy had their own EMS services at the rink for the game. So they came in, loaded me up, they took me to Humboldt” said Gerun.

While on their way to Humboldt Hospital, an ambulance from there met them halfway, where a paramedic jumped in Gerun’s ambulance.

“Got to Humboldt, that's kind of where my condition turned, and I got worse. So that's where I had my heart attack,” said Gerun. “There they were giving me clot busters to try to break up the clot in order to stabilize me. Luckily that worked.”

He was then transported to Royal University Hospital Critical Care Unit where he spent the next 48 hours. He spent a total of 10 days at RUH before being discharged on March 2.

“I think back to the whole sequence of events ... and I'm just so lucky and grateful that they were there,” said Gerun.

Gerun suffers from no underlying condition that he’s aware of. Doctors are still trying to narrow-down what caused his heart attack. He wants other people to be aware that this could happen to them.

“I mean, I haven't seen a doctor in 10 years. So go get your physicals done, go do whatever screening you think you need to. You always think that it's not going to happen to you,” said Gerun.

Gerun is still recovering from the heart attack. He probably won’t be playing hockey for a while.

Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Robin Clegg says athletic events like these are when young people typically suffer from cardiac-related events.

“It’s usually that their heart goes out of rhythm. It goes into a racing, rapid heartbeat and the heart can’t effectively pump blood forward, and so it causes people to faint or collapse,” she said.

Clegg says Gerun’s heart attack shows the importance of CPR training. Fast access to automated defibrillators can save lives, Clegg says.

Incidents like this can come out of the blue, but Clegg says there are warning signs like fainting, or sensations of a racing heartbeat at a time you wouldn’t otherwise expect it.

“Those need to get checked out and brought to the attention of your family physician, or an emergency room doctor.”                              Top Stories

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