The bone-chilling reality that football legend David Ginola was technically dead for eight terrifying minutes is one that still makes me shudder.
Ginola, the magnetic French winger who enthralled the Premier League crowds with his silky skills and audacious talent during the late 90s, revealed he “saw death” during his nightmarish cardiac arrest in 2016 while participating in a charity football match in France.
On that fateful day, Ginola was playing in a charity match in the sweltering heat of the French Riviera. He had been running around the pitch with his characteristic grace and style when suddenly, he felt a crippling pain in his chest. Without any warning, he collapsed in the middle of the game, his body unable to move, his mind slipping into unconsciousness.
“I saw the white light and I was saying, ‘Don’t come to get me. I am not ready yet’,” Ginola, now 56, confided. “It was the most terrifying eight minutes of my life.”
When he collapsed, his teammates rushed to his aid, their faces blanched with fear. They called for the paramedics, who arrived on the scene and began their life-saving attempts. With every passing second, Ginola was slipping away, his heart stubbornly refusing to beat. For eight agonizing minutes, he was technically dead – his heart had stopped, and the flow of blood to his brain was cut off.
Paramedics performed CPR and used a defibrillator to deliver electrical shocks to his heart. After what felt like an eternity, they managed to get his heart beating again. Ginola was airlifted to Monaco’s cardiothoracic centre, where he underwent an emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery. Doctors called it a miracle that Ginola survived the ordeal.
David Ginola’s stellar career is etched in football history. Known for his magnificent goals and flashy runs, he has graced several clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton.
His glorious run with Tottenham from 1997 to 2000 earned him a special place in the hearts of the fans. He received the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards in 1999, a year that still resonates in the hearts of football lovers.
After retiring from football in 2002, Ginola didn’t distance himself from the sport. He dabbled in football punditry and even mounted an unsuccessful bid to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president in 2015. But it was a passion for vineyards that took him back to his homeland, France.
Ginola’s winery, located in the picturesque region of Provence, has earned acclaim and awards for its exquisite wines. “Football gave me a lot, but wine gives me even more passion now,” Ginola remarked. His fine wines have become as popular among connoisseurs as his dazzling dribbles were among football fans.
Recently, Ginola has been involved in various charity activities, and his near-death experience has deepened his perspective on life. He has been promoting heart health awareness and urging people to learn CPR, which he credits for saving his life that fateful day.
“Every second is a gift. I see life differently now,” he said. In a world often deprived of good news, the tale of Ginola’s recovery from a near-death experience is truly uplifting. It reinforces the belief in second chances and the enduring power of the human spirit. Despite the terrifying ordeal he went through, Ginola’s story is one of survival, rebirth, and an undying love for life.
David Ginola, the magician with the ball, continues to enchant us off the field, showing the world how to face life’s trials with courage and resilience. A true icon, on and off the pitch!