The Tucson Roadrunners hockey team are standing by their captain, Craig Cunningham, who suffered a terrifying health scare last month.
Before the team’s November 19 game against the Manitoba Moose during their inagural season, Cunningham collapsed on the ice, an incident the hockey player can’t remember.
In the month following the ordeal, doctors still haven’t determined how a healthy, professional, young athlete could have such severe heart problems, but his survival will give them time to conduct more research.
The team held a press conference on Wednesday, in which Cunningham thanked the first responders and doctors who saved his life. His mother, Heather Cunningham, sat next to him during the conference, and she has stayed by his side every night since his collapse.
In the minutes following his collapse, first responders administered CPR at the Tucson Convention Center, and then he was taken to the hospital for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, a procedure designed for patients that are so critically ill that no other support for the heart and lungs will save them. Cunningham’s heart wasn’t beating on its own for the first two days, and the doctors who saved his life, along with his family and friends, are thankful that he is now in recovery.
At the press conference, Cunningham said that a return to professional hockey is doubtful, but that his teammates have visited him daily and they will continue to stay close.