“My footballer brother Ugo Ehiogu died in training and I never want that to happen again”

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Ugo Ehiogu, a former footballer turned Tottenham Hotspur manager, collapsed and died during a training session five years ago after suffering an unexpected cardiac arrest

Alosie Ehiogu, left, with her late brother Ugo

When Alosie Ehiogu received a call from his sister five years ago saying their brother had been rushed to hospital, he didn’t expect the worst.

His younger brother Ugo was a former footballer who had played for a plethora of premiership teams and was now manager of Tottenham Hotspur – so he was fit and healthy.

The 44-year-old was training when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Staff on the ground rushed to his aid to perform CPR and used a defibrillator kept on site, and his heart started beating again before being taken to Middlesex Hospital.

Despite the heroic effects of the medical team in saving Ugo, he died less than 12 hours later on April 21, 2017.







The 44-year-old was in the middle of training when he suffered cardiac arrest
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Picture:

Getty)


Alosie told the Mirror: “When my sister called me I said I had to come to the hospital, I didn’t realize how serious it was until I arrived.

“We had to wait hours and hours to find out what had happened to him. It was so unexpected.

“I had gone out for a meal and a chat with him a few weeks before and now he was dead.”

Ugo’s devastated family later discovered he had cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that prevents the heart from pumping blood to the rest of the body.

This ultimately led to his fatal cardiac arrest.







The former footballer pictured in 1995 while playing for Aston Villa
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Alosie and her other brother Uzo were asked to get tested for the same condition and given the all clear.

But there could be thousands of people walking around undiagnosed.

As the fifth anniversary of his tragic death approached, consultant Laurence Gant, who tried to save Ugo after he collapsed, got on his bike and circled all the football pitches where the late sportsman played to collect donations. funds to buy defibrillators for grassroots football. soccer teams.

But more money is urgently needed to meet the £50,000 target.

Alosie explained: “These teams don’t have the sound monetary funds that Premiership teams have so many people don’t have a defibrillator on their pitch.







Alosie met her brother a month before her sudden death
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Picture:

Alosia Ehiogu)








Ugo’s devastated family later found out he had cardiomyopathy
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Picture:

Alosia Ehiogu)


“Defibrillators are expensive and we need to train people to use them, which will also cost money.

“We hope people will be generous and help us achieve our goal, including football industry organisations.”

While Ugo sadly passed away, it is well documented that a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death.

“In my brother’s case, the doctors said he died more or less instantly,” Alosie said.

“At the hospital they took us to a room and told us they had massaged his heart and had done CPR for four hours and it didn’t work.







Ugo with his brothers Uzo and Alosie
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Picture:

Alosia Ehiogu)


“Ugo was clinically dead. He collapsed in the morning and was pronounced dead at midnight.

“My brother had occasional chest pains and sometimes felt dizzy, but nothing deep that raised alarm bells.

“A month before he died we met for dinner and drinks as we hadn’t done any catch up and he looked fit and healthy so his death so sudden was a real shock. “

Figures released by the London Ambulance Service in 2020 show that when a public access defibrillator (PAD) was used by a passerby and at least one shock was delivered, the survival rate was 57.1%, or five times higher than when not in use.

During Euro 2020, Danish striker Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during a match against Finland last June.







Danish striker Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest at Euro 2020
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Getty Images)


The 30-year-old’s life was saved with a combination of a defibrillator and CPR, which meant he was conscious when he was carried off the pitch.

Team doctor Morten Boesen said immediate action saved Christian’s life.

“He was gone but ‘we got him back after a defibrillator…that’s pretty quick,'” he said.

The footballer returned to the pitch in February with an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD), which can reset the heart after cardiac arrest.







Fabrice Muamba also suffered cardiac arrest during a televised FA Cup game
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In March 2012, Boltons Wanderer player Fabrice Muamba also suffered cardiac arrest during a televised FA Cup match with Tottenham Hotspur.

Although his heart stopped for 78 minutes, he miraculously survived but was unable to resume his playing career.

The Mirror is campaigning for a new law to be passed making automated external defibrillators (AEDs) a legal requirement in all public places.







Consultant Laurence Gant got on her bike
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Picture:

Alosia Ehiogu)


Alosie said: “From around the age of 12, some athletes train hard every day because they need to be in good physical shape – it can have an impact on the body.

“Many now wear monitors that can detect anything about them, but not locally, so defibrillators are so important.”

The devoted brother hopes that once they reach their £50,000 target to fund defibrillators, it will be another Ugo legacy.







Ugo left a legacy behind
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Picture:

Alosia Ehiogu)


He said, “There is a Ugo Ehiogu award that I present every year so it can be added to the legacy because my brother will never be forgotten.”

Laurence cycled from Glasgow Rangers before going to Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Sheffield United and finished at Aston Villa on April 9. The whole trip took five days.

To donate, visit the JustGiving page.

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