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Pyper Midkiff suffers cardiac arrest while playing soccer

BY Anas Shah May 01, 2023. 08:54 pm UPDATED: May 01, 2023. 08:54 pm

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A 12-year-old girl from Phoenix, Arizona, went into cardiac arrest while playing football and needed lifesaving CPR from a teammate’s mother.

On the evening of April 27, Pyper Midkiff fell 20 minutes into practise for her young football team, Arizona Arsenal.

Matt Midkiff, who was coaching a separate team nearby, ran over as soon as he heard the call.

Pyper was given CPR by a teammate’s mother until an ambulance came, but she lost her pulse on the route to the nearest hospital.

She was subsequently airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she is stable and recovering.

Pyper and her twin sister, Emori, are both standout players on their juvenile football squad.

Pyper’s mother Jessica provided an update on her daughter’s status three days into her hospital stay in a Facebook post on Sunday.

‘Update: She’s tried multiple times today to climb out of bed and grab for her lines and breathing tubes. Oh, she’s a fighter! ‘She is #pyperstrong,’ she said.

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‘We believe in Pyper’s full recovery, and we believe everyone else does, too!’

On Sunday, Pyper’s father talked to Arizona’s Family, immediately after she opened her eyes for the first time since the heart attack.

When he was informed that Pyper had died, his first reaction was to wonder how this could have occurred.

Matt said the family had learned in the days since the cardiac arrest that Pyper had a genetic condition that had gone undiagnosed.

‘Everyone thinks their kid is special. Pyper has something special in her, and the world needs more people like her,’ he said.

‘The world needs more Pypers, and seeing what I just saw gives me more hope [and] faith.

‘Sports and soccer is more than competition and the support over the past few days shows that everybody gets it over the past few days. Family is important and the kids and the players.’

Pyper Midkiff

Pyper’s rehabilitation will most certainly be lengthy because physicians are unsure how long she went without a pulse.

Several youth football teams in Arizona, Utah and California showed their support for Pyper over the weekend by wearing jerseys with her name on them and holding signs that said ‘Prayers for Pyper’.

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Phoenix Rising FC, a professional soccer team, also sent a unique shirt to Pyper and her family.

A GoFundMe page set up to assist the family with medical expenses has now earned over $41,000 and garnered over 400 donations.

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