Heart-stop Northallerton rugby player on the mend
8:30am Tuesday 1st May 2012
A TEENAGE rugby player whose heart stopped for several minutes after sustaining a freak injury during a match is back on his feet and hopes to play again next season.
The family of Sam Windross said he was responding well to treatment in hospital following the life-threatening incident while playing for Northallerton Rugby Club on Saturday, April 21.
His sister, Georgia, said the former pupil of Bootham School, in York, had received many messages of support from friends after his heart stopped due to a pressure point being accidentally struck during a tackle.
The Yorkshire Division Three game against Halifax Vandals, in West Yorkshire, was abandoned as a medical student in the Northallerton team, along with a theatre matron and an ambulance responder who were watching the match, tried to resuscitate him.
It is understood the injury Mr Windross, of Brompton, near Northallerton, received had similar effects to an infamous martial arts blow to the heart, which has been banned owing to its deadly potential.
Percy Barraclough, the club’s secretary, said news of the winger’s steady, but remarkable recovery in Huddersfield General Infirmary’s intensive care unit had been a huge relief to everyone connected with the North Yorkshire and Halifax clubs.
He said: “The reason Sam was able to get up and run after whatever it was that struck his heart during the tackle was due to adrenaline.
“If he had been walking along in the street he would not have got up.
“There are still issues with his recovery. It will be slow as his heart stopped for quite a number of minutes.”
Mr Windross, 19, who works as a gamekeeper for North York Moors-based country pursuits firm Rievaulx Sporting Ltd, will continue to receive treatment, including physiotherapy, at the hospital’s coronary care unit until he is strong enough to be transferred to The James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.
As his kit was cut off after he was critically injured, he has asked his family to get a replacement kit ready for him for next season.
Mr Barraclough said: “We all went through the same emotions that what happened to Sam might have been something specifically to do with rugby, but it was an unusual set of circumstances that could affect anyone.”