Tom Lockyer returns home after being discharged from hospital following his cardiac arrest

Tom Lockyer returns home after being discharged from hospital following his cardiac arrest

Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer has returned home after being discharged from hospital following a procedure to have an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) device fitted after he suffered a cardiac arrest during Saturday’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth

The club posted an update on Lockyer, 29, with ‘encouraging’ news on Thursday following the player’s collapse in the 59th minute of Saturday’s game at the Vitality Stadium, which was later abandoned with the score at 1-1.

Lockyer had been in hospital since being stretchered off but Luton confirmed he was now back at home to undergo a period of rehabilitation.


Luton also praised the quick-thinking actions of Bournemouth midfield Philip Billing, who was the first player to notice the mid-game incident, as well as Bournemouth’s medical staff.  

‘We are thankful to report that our captain Tom Lockyer has now begun a period of rehabilitation from the comfort of his own home after he was discharged from hospital on Wednesday,’ the statement read. 

Tom Lockyer collapsed during the 59th minute of the tie and needed urgent medical attention 

Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest during Luton’s Premier League tie with Bournemouth

Luton players were in visible distress after the game at the Vitality Stadium was abandoned

‘This encouraging news follows a successful procedure that took place on Tuesday whereby Tom had an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) device fitted to prevent a repeat of Saturday’s incident. 

‘The Club, Tom and the Lockyer family would like to take this opportunity to repeat our collective heartfelt thanks to all at Bournemouth, their supporters, club officials and especially their medical staff and midfielder Philip Billing, who was the first to reach Tom on the pitch and summon assistance.

‘Supported by the actions of Bournemouth’s medical team and local paramedics, it was ultimately the protocols instilled and professional actions of our own medical staff that gave Tom this chance to recover and to whom we are thankful.

What is an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)? 

An ICD is a small device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.

It sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms, especially those that could be dangerous and cause a cardiac arrest.

An ICD is placed under the skin, usually in the space just below the collar bone to monitor your heart rate. 

Thin wires connect the ICD to the heart, which constantly check heart rate and rhythm.

People may need an ICD if they have suffered a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm, are at risk of having one in the future or have heart failure. 

The device is fitted in a procedure that takes one to three hours.

Source: British Heart Foundation

‘Naturally, the events that unfolded last weekend surprised and shocked everyone witnessing it. Together with Sporting Chance, via the Premier League, the Club is in the process of providing care for those who may be affected by any distress caused.’

‘The clinical advice Tom and the Club has taken since the Championship play-off final has been conducted by the most renowned cardiologists, who have been involved at every step, along with a team of supporting multi-disciplinary consultants.’

Additionally, the club confirmed that the cardiac arrest suffered by the player was different to the incident from Lockyer’s collapse during last season’s Championship play-off final at Wembley in May.

Lockyer subsequently underwent heart surgery, and was given the all-clear to return to competitive action a month later.  

‘We can now confirm that the tests taken this week had revealed that the issue Tom experienced on Saturday was different to the atrial fibrillation he suffered in May,’ the statement continued. 

‘Tom, his family and the Club would like to thank everyone in the football family who have sent messages of concern and love. The level of support has been overwhelming.

‘We’re so proud to have Locks as our captain and his leadership will continue from the sidelines where his courage will inspire his team-mates, colleagues, and supporters, starting on Saturday.’

After Saturday’s game was officially abandoned, the players from both Luton and Bournemouth came back out on to the pitch to applaud the crowd, with head coach Rob Edwards close to tears on his lap around the ground.

The Premier League announced that the match is set to be replayed in full later this season, although a date for the contest has not yet been given. 

Head coach Rob Edwards was emotional as he applauded the fans after the incident

Lockyer previously collapsed during the Championship play-off final in May last season

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Christian Eriksen is another top-flight player who competes with an implantable defibrillator

One high-profile footballer in the English top-flight currently playing with an ICD is Christian Eriksen, who was fitted with the device after he suffered a cardiac arrest whilst facing Finland in Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 game two years ago. 

The matchbox-sized device works by sending electrical shocks to the heart to make it start pumping again – effectively rebooting it when it fails. 

The Danish midfielder was subsequently forced to leave his former club, Inter Milan, because the Italian Football Association does not allow those fitted with the device to play in amateur or professional leagues.

A move to Brentford helped reintegrate the player back into top-flight football, and he was later signed by Manchester United in the summer of 2022.  

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