Life is priceless. Today we want to inspire you by the sports moment in which this famous saying has literally translated into reality, when the Georgian footballer Jaba Kankava saved Dinamo Kiev player’s life after a terrible collision during a game.
The matter dates back to 2014 and it took part into the Ukrainian Premier League, the highest division of Ukrainian annual football championship, during the match between Dnipro and Dinamo Kiev. Belonging to the twenty-first day of the championship, the match seemed to be really important for the fate of the league: in fact, it was a direct fight for second place in the table and thus full of expectations for both teams.
In the first time, during an action in the Dnipro area, Oleg Gusev, Dinamo Kiev captain, had challenged for a cross followed by Denys Boyko’s exit by jumping. Unfortunately, Boyko, the Dnipro goalkeeper, involuntarily hit Oleg Gusev’ head with his knee, causing his violente collapse, which left him unconscious lying on the floor.
When Gusev seemed to be incapable of doing any movement, the situation began to appear extremely dramatic: in those moments, Jaba Kankava, Dnipro’s captain, realized how much serious it was and immediately provided assistance to the unlucky opponent.
While the stadium was silenced in one fell swoop, Kankava, recognizing the danger that Gusev could swallow his tongue, rushed to his side and promptly sticked his hand down Gusev’s throat to clear his airways, trying to avoid suffocation’s risk with an extraordinary presence of mind.
It was not the first time an episode like this one has been happened: in fact, the incident was reminiscent of the collision between Chelsea captain John Terry and Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby in the 2007 League Cup final, when an accidental stray boot from the Frenchman caught Terry flush in the head, knocking him out cold and causing, again, the defender to swallow his tongue.
Seen the emergency, Arsenal physio Gary Lewin rushed into the pitch to rescue John Terry. Furthermore, Lewin had previously been involved in another similar incident back in 1989, when he almost had to break David Rocastle’s jaw in order to perform life-saving treatment on the midfielder after he suffered a similar injury.
After a few minutes, Gusev regained consciousness, before to have been carried off the pitch on a stretcher. He had a narrow escape, but the help arrived right on time. Taken to the hospital, he has been subjected to tests, which found “just” a head injury, and injured jaw and a lost tooth out.
The game finished with a victory for Dnipro by 2-0, achieving the second place in the Ukrainian Premier League.
“He is lucky to have such light injuries. His spine, skull and bones are all intact: no breaks or fractures.” The Dynamo team doctor Leonid Myronov commented after the terrible incident.
Again, Myronov underlined “He lost consciousness for a short period, had seizures and swallowed his tongue but our colleagues from Dnipro had provided him emergency professional assistance and everything was settled.”
Jaba Kankava is player who has collected 33 games for Georgia, his national team; furthermore, he has palyed in 17 league games and 8 Europa League matches. But no one of these numbers he build at the end can match the extraordinary intervention with which he saved the life of his opponent: when it is a question of life and death, there are no rivals.