Last Thursday, a 12-year-old girl in Phoenix, Arizona, suffered sudden cardiac arrest while playing soccer and received lifesaving CPR from a parent. Pyper Midkiff, who had no prior health issues, collapsed during practice and was resuscitated by a teammate’s mom, who was also an ICU nurse. Her father, Matt Midkiff, who was coaching another team nearby, rushed to his daughter's side. Pyper was flown to Phoenix Children's Hospital, where she has since been diagnosed with a genetic condition and is reported to be in stable condition.
Cardiac arrests among children are rare, but not unheard of, and doctors emphasize that CPR response time is crucial for saving lives and preventing permanent damage. “People say it’s a miracle that these people are revived, but it’s actually not miraculous,” says Phoenix cardiac electrophysiologist Peter Weiss. “It’s regular people doing the right thing at the right time.”
The soccer community has shown an outpouring of support for Pyper, with the Phoenix Rising men's pro soccer team displaying a jersey in her honor on Instagram. And other youth teams and players across the country have donated to a crowdfund set up to help Pyper’s family pay for her care. Matt expressed gratitude for the support his family has received, saying, "My family has experienced lifetimes of love in two and a half days."