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Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

McEvely's heart stopped during op

Jay McEveley
I don't know whether it was a reaction to the anaesthetic but I have had five operations and nothing like that has ever happened before

Jay McEveley

Derby defender Jay McEveley has revealed that he almost died while undergoing routine surgery in October.

The 24-year-old's heart stopped for two minutes during an operation to repair a fractured cheekbone.

"It's usually routine, but my heart decided to stop," McEveley told BBC Radio Derby. "I don't know whether it was a reaction to the anaesthetic.

"I've had five operations and nothing like that has ever happened before. I'm just glad to be here."

McEveley suffered the injury in the Rams' 2-0 defeat by Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

He went into hospital for the operation two days later and got quite a shock when he came around.

"I woke up in intensive care and I was wired to machines monitoring my heart," he said.

"I didn't really know where I was at first and when the doctor and the anaesthetist came in and explained to me it was a bit of a shock to the system."

McEveley is now back in training and in the squad for Friday's Championship game against Coventry but has to wear a protective mask on his face.

However he is just relieved to be back playing football again after initially fearing for his career.

"My chest was hurting a bit but I wasn't even thinking about my cheekbone," he added.

"I was thinking 'what is going to happen here? Am I ever going to play again? Is there something wrong with my heart?' Everything was running through my mind.

"Thankfully, they have done a scan on my heart and everything has come back clear. They have said it will not affect my football, so I can look forward and put it all behind me.

"You just take things for granted and then something like this happens and you look at life in a different way."

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