SOMETIMES it takes something terrible for something fantastic to happen.
When Michael “Mickey” Dean died last August after suffering chest pains playing for Southern and Ettalong United Football Club, his wife Peta campaigned for defibrillators to be installed at sports grounds. One such device at Umina Oval saved its first life after Nathan Mark suffered a heart attack playing for the Gosford City Dragons the weekend before last.
The 40-year-old was kept alive by team mates, as well as players from Umina and a surf lifesaver who just happened to be at the ground at the time, until paramedics arrived.
Mark was taken to Gosford Hospital, and was put into an induced coma after he had a right coronary valve blockage that needed a stent inserted.
“There was a 90 per cent blockage but there were no underlying conditions, it was completely unexpected,” his wife Tammy Mark said.
Mrs Mark arrived at the ground late with the game stopped and players gathered around a player. She frantically looked around for her husband.
“I was looking for his baldy head. Then I noticed the player on the ground had a knee brace and I knew it was Nathan but I thought he must’ve injured his knee or got concussed or something. Then one of his team mates came over to me with a look of absolute fear on his face.”
Mark is now back at his Narara home resting under the watchful eye of his caring wife. She said the incident was a tribute to Mr Dean.
“If it hadn’t happened, Nathan wouldn’t be here,” Mrs Mark said holding back tears.
“The stars aligned for us that it happened at the oval, if it had happened anywhere else, he’d be gone.”