The 30-second phone call that saved Alecz Day's life
A FITNESS freak, a superior athlete across dual codes, Alecz Day sent shockwaves throughout Sunshine Coast sporting circles when he collapsed at training in January.
The 29-year-old stopped breathing after warm-up drills at Maroochydore Cricket Club and, according to teammates, was "dead before he hit the ground".
Those Scorchers teammates, Ashley Renouf and John Turnbull, and coach Ashley Holznagel, performed 15 minutes of lifesaving CPR before paramedics arrived with a defibrillator to jump start his heart.
Minutes later Day was whisked away in a critical care ambulance to intensive care at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
He'd remain in a coma for two days.
In the weeks following the cardiac arrest, Day caught up with his Scorchers squad to say thanks, but not with the paramedics.
Until yesterday afternoon.
In a rare but special moment, Day was reunited with the men and women who kept him from becoming a statistic.
"It's great to meet all these guys and say thank you," Day said.
There were no tears or hugs, instead a steely focus in the eyes of Day who thanked each officer with a word and handshake.
Questions followed, plenty, as the all-rounder tried to piece together what happened.
"They said it was a pretty unlucky thing to happen, but I am very lucky where it happened."
Critical care paramedic Daniel Statham, who rushed Day to hospital, said the average age of someone to have their heart stop was 66.
"This job was so time critical, bang, bang, bang," Mr Statham said, slapping his fist in his hand.
"He was extremely lucky, I'd say one in 5 per cent of all cardiac arrests.
"He is the youngest I have ever had. But everyone played a critical role, it all flowed on.
"Alecz is 29, so that was a major shock to the system."
The veteran paramedic of 36 years said the Scorchers trio performed lifesaving CPR three times and without their involvement, it would have been fatal.
Mr Statham said the whole team felt privileged to meet Day (properly) for the first time.
"We don't get the opportunities to meet these people after the event too often, so it's a thrill for us," Mr Statham said.
"We can all see the benefits of it today."
Day's partner Ashleigh Hofman has been a rock by his bedside from the moment she got the call that Thursday afternoon.
"I was actually pulling into the driveway and one of the boys phoned and said 'something's happened, come straight to the hospital'," Ms Hofman said.
"He didn't wake up for two days.
"It was very long.
"It was very hard not knowing and just waiting for updates.
"But meeting everyone and just being able to say thank you, I'm extremely grateful to everyone."
Day, now in the middle of his rehabilitation programs, vowed to return to the white picket fences he so dearly loves.
Perhaps as early as next season.
"Before I can play sport, I have to come off medication. But I'd like to be back playing cricket next season," Day said.
"I just need to keep building up and get back to full-intensity training.
"But I'm getting back to normal. I still get tired quickly but slowly I am getting back to more day to day function and working longer hours.
"I'm back to hockey training and coaching. Same with the gym doing light stuff."
As for the next round at the bar... it will be Day's shout for a while.
"Obviously I owe them a few beers. Nothing I can ever do will repay them. I'm forever grateful."