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Kansas City Chiefs player needed heart restarted after going into cardiac arrest at team meeting

A Kansas City Chiefs player required defibrillation after having a seizure and going into cardiac arrest during a team meeting.

BJ Thompson, a backup defensive lineman for the NFL team, is now “awake and alert” and “heading in the absolute right direction” following the medical emergency, Rick Burkholder, the team’s vice president of sports medicine and performance, said on Friday.

Team members and staff responded quickly to the medical emergency on Thursday. Burkholder said Harrison Butker — who told a group of graduating women last month they should be looking forward to marriage and childrearing instead of professional success — ran to alert staff while others administered CPR.

Staff then restarted Thompson’s heart with a single defibrillator shock. “So, he was only in cardiac arrest for less than a minute, minute and a half,” Burkholder said.

Kansas City Chiefs player BJ Thompson, pictured, suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest during a team meeting on Thursday (AP)
Kansas City Chiefs player BJ Thompson, pictured, suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest during a team meeting on Thursday (AP)

The team says the 25-year-old does not yet have a diagnosis about what exactly caused the shocking incident.

“I’m just glad to see that he’s doing good. When you have a guy go down like that, you never want that. For anyone,” George Karlaftis, Thompson’s teammate, said per NBC News. “I’m hoping and praying for a speedy recovery for BJ.”

This isn’t the first time an NFL star has needed life-saving measures while on the job.

Last year, Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice after suffering a medical emergency during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Damar Hamlin, pictured, had to be resuscitated twice last year after a medical emergency during a game in February 2023 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Damar Hamlin, pictured, had to be resuscitated twice last year after a medical emergency during a game in February 2023 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“They resuscitated him on the field before they brought him to the hospital and then they resuscitated him a second time when they got him to the hospital,” Hamlin’s uncle said at the time.