Christian Eriksen’s near fatal cardiac arrest has “opened people’s eyes” to the risks of heart failure, a grieving brother backing the Mirror’s defibrillator campaign says.
Astley Mulholland’s brother Kyle died after his heart stopped while playing five-a-side with friends.
And Astley is calling for MPs to support a Bill, brought after Eriksen’s narrow escape at Euro 2020, to make the kit a legal requirement in public places, such as education and sports facilities. The Mirror is also campaigning for the law to be changed.
There was no defibrillator available when 19-year-old Kyle collapsed in 2005.
Astley believes if there had been one on site, his brother may have survived. And for years he has battled for them to be compulsory at grassroots football venues.
The 33-year-old from Wythenshawe, Gtr Manchester, told the Mirror: “I believe he could still be with us today.
“And that’s why I’m so passionate about this campaign – defibrillators do save lives. It comes at a cost but I don’t think cost should even be spoken of if it’s saving somebody’s life.”
The dad-of-two, who plays for Trafford FC, said when the coroner ruled Kyle had died of natural causes it was hard for his family to accept.
“You don’t get over it but you learn to live with it,” he added. “You have got good days and you have got bad days.
“I was watching the game with Christian Eriksen and it takes me back to it all. I was quite fixated on it because I had always wanted to know if my brother had gone through any pain.”
After Eriksen was revived on the pitch during Denmark’s clash with Finland, a petition Astley launched in 2016 for defibrillators at grass roots football venues regained momentum.
It now has more than 80,000 signatures and has won backing from stars including Man United’s Jesse Lingard, boxer Ricky Hatton and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
Astley added: “With him [Eriksen] being such a high-profile player and it happening on a big stage I it’s opened people’s eyes.
“People are thinking, ‘My kids play sport, what if there is no defibrillator?’ But it is MPs that need to do something about it, people power can only push it so far.”
Automated External Defibrillators (AED) (Public Access) Bill is due for its second reading on September 10.