Family's CPR appeal after 'beautiful, charismatic and funny' young footballer dies of cardiac arrest

  • Joe Langfield's family explained why they want more people to learn CPR

The family of a fit and healthy 27-year-old footballer who died of a cardiac arrest are urging more people to learn the skills to save a life.

Joe Langfield, from Kesgrave in Suffolk, died suddenly from an inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis in June 2021.

His family said someone at the scene tried to give CPR but Joe was not discovered until too late for his life to be saved. However, they still find it comforting that someone tried to help him.

"He was beautiful, charismatic and funny," said his mother Jackie. "A lively character - when you walked in the room you knew he was there."

Joe's sister Victoria added: "A couple found him and the guy had had CPR training so he knew what to do. It's just that, for us, it was too late."

Joe was fit and active, and enjoyed running and playing football. His family said there was no indication he was suffering from a heart problem.

Joe Langfield was a fit and active young man when he died at the age of 27 Credit: Family picture

Ms Langfield said cardiac arrests could happen at any time and to people of any age so it was important as many people as possible were trained and willing to help.

She said: "You might not do doctor-level medical assistance but if you feel comfortable to approach someone and try to help I think that's the most important thing.

"If you've done the training you are aware of the procedures and what to do."

The family are speaking out to highlight a new web app and online training being publicised by the British Heart Foundation in Suffolk.

Mum Jackie Langfield and sister Victoria want to encourage as many people as possible to learn CPR Credit: ITV Anglia

It comes as figures show the East of England has one of the lowest survival rates of cardiac arrest in the country.

In the East of England in 2021 to 2022, there were 3,600 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, with a survival rate of just 7%, according to the Ambulance Quality Indicators statistics.

In a bid to tackle this, the BHF have launched RevivR, which can teach people how to perform CPR in 15 minutes.

CPR can double a patient's chances of survival, British Heart Foundation figures show. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Joe played football regularly, and Suffolk FA have also joined the campaign, making sure players and officials in its leagues are receiving CPR training as well.

The British Heart Foundation said that immediate initiation of CPR could more than double the chance of survival.

Yet more than a third of adults have never undertaken any form of CPR training.  

Joe’s family say more people knowing about CPR will save more lives and protect other families from the type of tragedy they have had to endure.

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