Fear gave way to relief at Joe Louis Arena when Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench during a National Hockey League game and was revived after his heart stopped.
Fischer suffered a seizure Monday night, just moments after leaving the ice on a shift change following a goal by the Nashville Predators' Greg Johnson.
The arena fell silent as medical personnel rushed to the bench when the Red Wings frantically alerted officials to stop the game. CPR was administered by team physician Dr. Tony Colucci before the 25-year-old native of the Czech Republic was removed on a stretcher.
"They hooked up the auto defibrillator and shocked him," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
By the time Fischer arrived at the hospital, he had improved so much that he was talking and described as being in good spirits when visited by his teammates.
"He'll be here in the hospital the next two days undergoing some further testing," team spokesman John Hahn said.
The game was called off with 7:30 left in the first period.
Fischer was diagnosed with a heart abnormality in September 2002, causing him to miss two days of practice. The problem was found on an electrocardiogram as part of routine tests during the Red Wings' preseason physicals.
When the result was abnormal, Fischer was given a stress test that he passed. He said that his heart essentially is a little thicker than normal.
"I wasn't scared about the abnormality," Fischer said at the time. "But I was scared about not playing hockey again. That was a shock for me."
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