JUST 24 hours after doctors stopped his heart, Jonathan D’Laryea scored his first goal of the season for Gainsborough Trinity – and put in a Man of the Match display.
The former Manchester City youth was rushed into King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield, in the early hours of Friday morning with an irregular heart beat.
Three courses of medication failed to correct the problem so he was put to sleep and his heart was stopped and restarted.
But he was determined to play his part in Saturday’s crunch play-off clash on the Northolme against Nuneaton, a game Trinity won 3-2.
The 26-year-old told the Standard: “It had never happened to me before, but my identical twin brother had similar problems about six years ago, it was happening frequently to him.”
“This was the first time it had happened to me, it was a little bit scary.”
“It felt like it was irregular, it was beating funny so I went to the hospital and they said it was beating at 200 beats per minute, resting.”
“The drug courses didn’t work so they put me to sleep and stopped my heart to restart it and put it back into rhythm.”
Although he was given conflicting advice on whether or not he should turn out for the Blues the next day, the ex-Mansfield Town man went with the expert’s opinion and Trinity fans will be glad he did.
“The nurses on the ward said I would be stupid to play, but the consultant cardiologist gave me the thumbs up and I had to go with what he said,” he said.
“I managed to score my first goal of the season, although I have to admit I didn’t mean it.”
“It was playing on my mind a little bit in the first half, but I moved it to the back of my mind and in the end they gave me the Man of the Match award.”
“It was a massive game for us, playing the team in second in the league and we really needed a win.”
While brother Nathan had to undergo an operation to fix his heart, Gainsborough’s midfielder hopes he won’t require the same treatment.
“At the minute I just have to take it that it won’t happen again, but because my brother had it a few times it might be like that for me.”
“It’s on my mind, but it will just be a case of getting to hospital to get sorted out.”
Trinity manager Steve Housham paid a glowing tribute to his efforts after the match, telling the Standard: “I’m delighted for JD because it was touch and go whether he would be starting.”
“It just puts life into perspective when that sort of things happens.”
““We’re just pleased for JD that he got Man of the Match and a goal and I was delighted for him.”
D’Laryea has been an ever present in Trinity’s side this season since former boss Brian Little signed the 26-year-old from rivals Eastwood Town last summer.
He made more than 90 appearances in the Football League for Mansfield Town, and is hoping to help Trinity achieve their first ever promotion this season.
The midfielder added: “I’m really enjoying my time at Gainsborough and it will be a massive disappointment if we don’t make it into the play-offs.”
“The lads still believe we can do it.”