Inside David Ginola’s life-changing day in 2016, from meeting girlfriend to suffering heart attack

Inside David Ginola’s life-changing day in 2016, from meeting girlfriend to suffering heart attack

December 10, 2021

Former footballer David Ginola may well be taking part in trials and making memories in the I'm A Celebrity camp, but it hasn't always been so easy for the star.

The 54 year once "died for twelve minutes" and had a "miracle" survival, after a heart attack in 2016.

The terrifying ordeal happened when David was doing what he loves – football.

At the time, he described that he just "fell on the floor," and it was CPR and a defibrillator that brought the talented player back to consciousness.

Here's everything you need to know about the incident…

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When did David Ginola have a heart attack and what happened?

David was playing a charity football match in Mandelieu-La Napoule, France, in May 2016, at the time of his heart attack.

David has discussed his heart attack with his I'm A Celeb co-stars.

The French native shared: "So they have to perform CPR for 12 minutes, and they arrive with the defibrillator, and they shocked me one time, two times, three times…

"They said, 'No, I think your friend is dead.' A fourth, fifth time… the fifth time, they said, 'Oh, I have a heartbeat.'

"The surgeon said, 'You've been very lucky David, it's a miracle. In your condition, 9 out of 10 would have died.'"

Surgeons went on to perform a quadruple bypass to save David's life after he had swallowed his tongue and stopped breathing during the incident.

David went on to explain: "When you come back from that, you just have your mind full of questions: "Is it a message, am I going back for a second life for a purpose?"


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It was on the same day that David had his heart attack that he first met his girlfriend, Maeva Denat, who he has been with for six years.

Going into more detail about his terrifying experience, David shared: "When you come back from that, you just have your mind full of questions: "Is it a message, am I going back for a second life for a purpose?"

"Because when you're fighting when you're dead, you're on the crossroad – there's life and death."

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David later discovered he'd inherited a heart condition from his mother Mireille who had passed away from a heart attack in 2005.

David's girlfriend discusses his heart attack

David's 32 year old girlfriend has discussed his attack, and shared with the Sun: "We met on the day he died. A mutual friend introduced us at a restaurant in Cannes. It was just after midnight and we talked and had one kiss and then he went to the charity event.

"I was back in Marseille when my friend called and said, 'Have you heard what happened to David? What did you do with him?'


"I said, 'We just talked and we had one kiss and then we left — that was it'.

"I was so worried about him and because I didn't know his close friends it was hard to check on how he was doing."

Despite his heart attack, David has said he “doesn’t expect any special treatment” on I'm A Celeb, and said he wants to be treated the same as everyone else.

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