Cape Town - Hooker Daniel du Plessis suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon whilst playing for the Western Province Under-21 team at Newlands. However, on Monday Du Plessis began to show a steady improvement which is a very positive sign for a full recovery.
Du Plessis - who turned 20 on February 24, 2015 - collapsed on the field during Saturday’s Provincial Under-21 encounter between WP and the Leopards and he stopped breathing. He was immediately attended to by the Western Province Under-21 medical team and, together with paramedics from ER24, he was resuscitated on the field and further stabilised in the stadium medical room by the stadium specialists according the Western Province Rugby Union website.
Once stable, Daniel was immediately transferred by ambulance to the ICU at Vincent Pallotti Hospital. He was put in an induced coma and ventilated on Saturday night. After a steady improvement and excellent specialist care, he has come off the ventilator and is now sitting up and talking.
He still has a recovery period ahead, and the cause of his arrest remains unknown, but his steady improvement is a very positive sign for a full recovery.
The Western Province Rugby Football Union would like to take this opportunity to once again thank the specialist medical team, as well as the ER24 on-duty crew, for their swift actions on the field on Saturday, which saved the player’s life.
Du Plessis’s father, Bruce, and his wife Janice were at their son’s hospital bedside on Monday afternoon - having returned from their overseas commitments at the first available flight – and they also expressed their gratitude to the medical teams and ER24 crew in action on Saturday.
Bruce du Plessis told the www.wprugby.com website: “No parent ever wants to receive a phone call like we did on Saturday, but we cannot begin to express our gratitude to the on-field medical team of WP Rugby, ER24 and anyone else involved in saving our son’s life.
“Daniel is showing a steady improvement and although he has a long recovery period ahead, we are so grateful to everyone - including all the well-wishers in the rugby community, most of whom we have never even met before.”