An emergency situation brings out as many different responses as there are human beings - some panic, some freak, some withdraw, and no two people are alike - so Dallas Stars' winger Alex Chiasson, who witnessed the "Cardiac Event" of teammate Rich Peverley on the bench during their game with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, can be excused if the episode left him a wreck.
Truthfully, everyone in that arena was shaken up. It's not every day that an athlete goes into cardiac arrest while participating in a sporting event - it has happened, but it is rare. So shaken by what the athletes and coaching staff witnessed in the bench area - their friend and colleague unanimated and unresponsive, clinging to the cusp of life - that the National Hockey League postponed the game.
|Chiasson (12) sits with somber teammates after Peverley collapsed|
“No chance,” long-time friend and teammate Tyler Seguin said about the prospect of continuing the game “I went in and took off my equipment right away. There was no way I was going to be able to play. I was right beside him when it happened.”
Peverley had just come off the ice when he collapsed, and his horrified teammates and coach Lindy Ruff feverishly screamed for medical personnel and for the officials to stop the game - and when it was over and Peverley was conscious and on his way to the hospital, that's when Ruff noticed that the episode had claimed an victim on an emotional level.
“He was shaken by the whole event; emotionally shaken,” Ruff said of Chiasson. “He wasn't doing very well, so we thought it best to get him under some care. There was a lot of anxiety associated with it.”
Chiasson experienced what doctors are calling an anxiety attack in response to the stressors, but recovered quickly - though not in time to join his teammates as they flew off to St. Louis immediately following the episode.
He skated Wednesday and is expected to play Friday against Calgary.
“I talked to Alex this morning. He skated, he’s doing good,” Ruff said. “He’ll be back, in all likelihood, for our next game. The thing that made him feel a lot better was seeing Rich the next morning. That put a smile on his face. It was good to see the smile on Alex’s face.”
Probably not as good as Chiasson seeing Peverley upright and smiling...