HOANI MACDONALD, the Southland Stags rugby player who had a heart attack on the pitch during this year’s NPC, has spoken publically for the first time.
Talking to Campbell Live, the prop said he found himself becoming breathless and incoherent during the championship semifinal against Counties Manukau, but it wasn’t until he was placed in an ambulance that he realised how serious the situation was.
”They were doing a bit of CPR because I stopped breathing and then I basically flatlined and then they gave me a jolt and that didn’t pick it up, and then they gave me another one and fortunately I came back.”
Macdonald said, he, along with fiance Michelle Notman, were bowled over by the support they had received from the rugby community and the general public.
An elderly woman from Taieri sent a letter with two $5 notes, telling them to buy presents for their two young sons.
Macdonald had played rugby in New Zealand, Wales and Australia, said getting another chance at life was far more important than not being able to play rugby again.
”That was probably the easiest thing to come to grips with. That’s something I can deal with easily, it’s the other things that are harder. I’m just glad to be able to make the decision, I guess.”