Former Australian international cricketer Ryan Campbell, who was placed into an induced coma after a heart attack, is expected to make a full recovery.
Campbell, 50, has been discontinued from heavy sedation and is talking and responding well, a statement on behalf of his family released on Sunday said.
The wicketkeeper batsman, who played two one day internationals for Australia and enjoyed a decade long career at the top of WA cricket, was with his children at a playground in London a week ago when he collapsed.
A passer-by performed CPR before he was rushed to hospital.
‘The family is thrilled to announce that this afternoon the incredible staff at the Royal Stoke University Hospital successfully discontinued Ryan’s sedation,’ the statement issued via Australian Cricketers’ Association said.
Former WA and Australian cricketer Ryan Campbell (pictured) is doing well after he was removed from heavy sedation in a London hospital after his heart attack
Mr Campbell (pictured with his wife Leontina) has recently travelled back to Perth to visit friends and family
‘He has reacted very well and is now in a stable condition. Whilst still very weak he is talking and responsive.
‘Doctors hope that with continued progress he should make a full recovery.’
The family including his wife Leontina said they were moved by the flood of love and support they had received in recent days.
‘We would once again like to thank everyone for your love and good wishes. It is impossible to say how grateful we all are to you all.
‘We will update further when we have more news.’
Campbell had been placed in an induced coma when he was admitted to hospital and had been deemed critically ill when he was brought out of it.
Ryan Campbell in his role as head coach of Netherlands in 2019 (pictured)
The WA native recently taken up a head coaching job in the Netherlands and had only just returned to Europe after a trip to Perth to see his elderly parents.
‘He was here in Perth just last week and fit as a fiddle,’ his friend, 6PR Radio presenter Gareth Parker, said on Tuesday.
‘This news is a real shock to his family and friends back home in Australia, who learned about it on Easter Sunday.’
The Western Australian cricket mainstay had recently relocated with his family to the Netherlands (pictured with his wife Leontina and their two children)
Campbell was a former teammate of late cricket legend Shane Warne, having played a one day international against New Zealand alongside him in 2002.
Warne, just two years older at 52, suffered a fatal heart attack on the Thai island of Koh Samui in March.
Campbell, who was an understudy of former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, said playing with Warne had been a highlight of his career.
‘Shane Warne is clearly the greatest I’ve ever played with or against,’ he told Firstsportz in 2020.
Campbell with former Australian Test captain Michael Clarke (pictured)
‘What that guy could do on a cricket field still amazes me… Gilly is up there and I was also a massive Steve Waugh fan. These guys were so great because they always got in the fight and always wanted to win.’
He added being a back-up for a legend such as Gilchrist, who played 96 Tests in a row, was tough, but he cherished the moment when he got the call up to the Australian side.
‘Walking into the SCG change rooms and seeing my name on the locker next to Steve Waugh’s… To say I was nervous to train with him, Warne, McGrath etc was an understatement.’
Warne is not the only famous Aussie aged in their 50s to suffer a deadly attack in recent months.
Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching died days after Warne in March. She was also 52-years-old.
Cricket legend Shane Warne with Liz Hurley at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel grand opening in Vienna in 2012 (pictured)
A recent Heart Foundation study warned the number of heart attacks could rise as Australians missed out on vital health checks amid the Covid pandemic.
The study found that states least affected by the pandemic, including Western Australia and Queensland, had the highest rates of health screening, averaging 30 heart health checks per 1,000 eligible adults, well above the national average of 25 checks per 1,000 adults.
Lockdowns, along with the resource-intensive roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination and booster programs in GP practices, were linked to dramatic drops of up to 40 per cent in people having the check across the country.
A heart health check was added as a temporary item to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) in 2019 following a campaign by the Heart Foundation.
The Heart Foundation is calling for the check to become permanent.
‘This concerning data reinforces the urgency of making heart health checks a permanent part of the MBS, as doctors will be dealing with a backlog of people who need preventative heart health care for years to come,’ Professor Jennings said.
Heart health checks are designed for people who haven’t yet had a heart event but may be at risk of one and is available to Australians aged 45 years and over, and 30 years and over for Indigenous people.