Community Rallies Around 12-Year-Old Girl Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest During Soccer Practice

The family of a 12-year-old Arizona girl who suffered cardiac arrest Thursday during soccer practice says the support they are getting is what has kept them going. “My family has experienced lifetimes of love in two and a half days,” father Matt Midkiff said, according to KSAZ-TV. On Thursday, Pyper Midkiff was at her soccer practice when she was stricken. The mother of another player performed CPR until an ambulance arrived, but the girl had a second cardiac episode in the ambulance. She was flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she is listed in stable condition, according to KTVK. She has since awakened. The family has received messages of support for Pyper from youth soccer teams in Arizona, Utah, and California. The Phoenix Rising pro team also showed off a jersey in her honor. “Sports and soccer is more than competition, and the support over the past few days shows that everybody gets it over the past few days. Family is important and the kids and the players,” Matt Midkiff said. “Everyone thinks their kid is special. But Pyper has something special about her, and the world needs more people like her. The world needs more Pypers,” he said. He said the extent of the damage she suffered is uncertain because the family does not know how long her heart had stopped. Midkiff said tests revealed his daughter has a genetic condition that had not been diagnosed. She had played soccer for six years before the incident with no health complications. Pyper also has a twin sister, Emori, who also plays soccer. “We signed her up for a cooling study for her body, which is what Hamlin, the Bills’ football player went through, it’s what Christian Eriksen, the soccer player, went through when they had heart conditions. To try to keep her brain and liver and kidney and heart functions as normal and minimize tissue damage moving forward as possible,” Matt Midkiff said, according to KSAZ. “One of those things that’s never going to happen to you right? I mean, a healthy 12-year-old, a healthy 12-year-old with no symptoms with parents that are fit and healthy. I’ve coached for 28 years. I’ve never seen anything happen like this. I’m a physical therapist and I thought the worst case would be a broken leg,” he said. Cardiac electrophysiologist Peter Weiss of Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix said the first moments are the most important. He said one critical piece of preparation is to have automated external defibrillators available in public places. “People say it’s a miracle that these people are revived, but it’s actually not miraculous. It’s regular people doing the right thing at the right time. This is something people can be trained in, quite simply,” Weiss said. A friend of the family launched a GoFundMe in the girl’s name, adding in the headline of the appeal, that it was also seeking “prayers for Pyper.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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