Did David Ginola have a heart attack? All you need to know about the I'm A Celebrity star's near death-experience

David Ginola, Did David Ginola have a heart attack?
(Image credit: ITV)

I'm A Celebrity 2021 has seen former footballer David Ginola enter Gwrych Castle where the ITV show is filmed and he's been placed in The Clink as part of the blue team.

Starting the show with no bed to sleep on and no food to eat, alongside campmates Richard Madeley, Naughty Boy, Danny Miller, and Arlene Phillips, David escaped the first Dreaded Diner challenge.

Who won I'm A Celebrity 2021? has since been revealed.

But despite his sportsman physique, nothing could prepare him for the unexpected near-death experience he had on the football pitch just five years ago just before he went official with his girlfriend...

Did David Ginola have a heart attack?

David Ginola, 54, had a heart attack when he was playing football during a charity match in France in 2016.  The French former Premier League footballer suffered a cardiac arrest during the game.

It's reported that he was pronounced 'clinically dead' for 12 minutes after he stopped breathing for eight minutes and even swallowed his own tongue.

Speaking on This Morning back in 2018, he explained, "I just collapsed, it was a very frightening situation. There were no warnings, no alarms, I just collapsed. No pain at all. 

"It was very strange because when you wake up in the hospital you don't feel any pain. So you ask yourself, why are you here?

"And to hear the surgeon explain the whole situation, 'You went down because your heart stopped and someone on the football pitch  - thank God for that - was able to perform a CPR.

He continued, "There were about 15 people there but only one or two were able to perform a CPR and knew how to do it and this is when I realised that there is something wrong.

"That out of 15 only two people were able to do something because what they did actually saved my life...they saved my brain.

"You realise that when you've been dead for nine minutes just performing the CPR maintained the brain...the whole situation was very lucky. I was very lucky."

You can watch a clip of his interview below...


Who saved David Ginola?

David Ginola received CPR on the pitch from fellow footballer Frederic Mendy, who was playing for the opposition team.

He kept the oxygen going to David's brain by performing the CPR and then the paramedics arrived with their defibrillator to intervene and five shocks from a defibrillator restored his heart rate back to normal.

It was revealed that without the CPR from Frederic, David would’ve died.

Ginola was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Monaco and underwent a quadrupole by-pass operation lasting six hours.

He made a quick recovery and has had no troubles since and believes life has given him "a second chance".

Frédéric Mendy, dID david Ginola have a heart attack?

LYON, FRANCE - AUGUST 15: Frederic Mendy manager of Montpellier the Veolia Women's Trophy match at Groupama Stadium on August 15, 2020 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

David has been getting stuck into the I'm A Celebrity team challenges, and you can see a clip of him in action below...

A photo posted by on

How do you perform CPR on a heart attack victim?

You can safely perform CPR on a heart attack victim in six simple steps.

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, there are several important changes to CPR advised by the Resuscitation Council UK. If you find someone unconscious do the following:

  1. Shake the person gently and shout for help.
  2. Call 999.
  3. Don't put your face close to theirs. If you think there's risk of infection, use a towel or a piece of clothing and lay it over their mouth and nose.
  4. Give chest compressions only - do not give rescue breaths.
  5. Continue until an ambulance arrives.
  6. After the ambulance crew have taken over wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel.

There are also slightly different steps of how to perform CPR on a child or baby.


David Ginola was keen to raise awareness around the importance of knowing how to perform CPR.

“Twenty thousand people die while doing sport in Europe each year,” he said.

“We can all be victims of a cardiac arrest, but the survival rate is five per cent. There are eight million fatalities every year, the second biggest cause of death in the world after cancer. Sport has a duty to raise awareness in the general public.”

I’m A Celebrity kicked off on Sunday, 21st November on ITV at 9pm and will air on weeknights for three weeks thereafter.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)