Hapoel Beersheba striker Elyaniv Barda.
(photo credit: MAOR ELKASLASI)
Hapoel Beersheba captain Elyaniv Barda was resuscitated and required treatment with a defibrillator after collapsing during the team’s training session on Tuesday morning.
The 35-year-old striker was hit in the chest by a ball during a scrimmage and after it initially seemed he had shaken it off, he suddenly dropped to the ground and began to convulse. The team’s medical staff immediately initiated CPR and an ambulance was summoned.
The ambulance staff treated Barda with a defibrillator before taking him to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, where he underwent further tests after his condition was stabilized.
“Thank you. Thank you everyone for the support,” Barda wrote on Facebook. “Thanks to the wonderful staff of Soroka Medical Center, to Guy from MDA and lots of love to Dima, the greatest of them all! Love you! Thank God.”
Tuesday’s incident brought back memories from 10 years ago when Beersheba player Chaswe Nsofwa of Zambia died from sudden heart failure during a training match against Maccabi Beersheba.
“Elyaniv Barda arrived at the hospital with serious heart rhythm disorders,” said Doron Zager, chief of cardiology at Soroka. “It is a known yet very rare sporting injury. When the ball hits the chest at a high speed at a critical moment, it can cause life-threatening rhythm disorders. He was saved thanks to the quick action taken by the medical staff on the scene and the MDA staff. Had a defibrillator not been used, this may have been a fatal incident.”
Zager said Barda would be able to return to regular training after a short break.
“We experienced moments of real anxiety today,” tweeted Beersheba club owner Alona Barkat. “We were extremely relieved after hearing that everything is fine with Elyaniv. We love you and look forward to having you back on the pitch captain.”
Due to the international break, Beersheba doesn’t play again until November 18 when it hosts Hapoel Acre.
In other soccer news, Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Omer Atzili was diagnosed on Tuesday with a fracture to a metatarsal in his right foot and is expected to miss between three and four months of action. It is a major blow for the yellow-and-blue, which has been plagued by injuries since the start of the season.