Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Fragility of Life (Antonio Puerta and James 4)

For various lesser reasons, I have declared this the "James 4" year for me personally. We as mortal humans cannot definitively state what we will be doing tomorrow, or even within the next hour.

But hey, in the relative sense, I certainly have no reason to complain.

So can I show a video?

Why did Birisviso upload this video? Because the goal launched Sevilla into the 2005-2006 UEFA Cup finals, which they eventually won:

Sevilla are through to the Uefa Cup final after needing extra time to dispose of Schalke.

Antonio Puerta will be the toast of the Spanish outfit after he came off the bench to book his side a final date against Middlesbrough, registering the game and tie's only goal in the 101st minute.

The local-born midfielder scored with an unstoppable half-volley that flew past Frank Rost, with the ball striking the post and then nestling in the corner of Schalke's goal.

This was very much a local success story, since Puerta had been associated with the club for 14 years, spending three years with the first team.

And the local-born Puerta was rewarded:

Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2012.

Sadly, as Soccerlens, Libero, and A Pretty Move note, this was not to be.

Here's how A Pretty Move reported what has happened over the last few days:

Everyone who witnessed Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta inexplicably collapse in the 28th minute of the first half in the match against Getafe last Saturday was bewildered by the incident at first. Standing near his own goal just as the keeper was preparing to kick the ball back to the Sevilla midfield, Puerta suddenly crouched down and then appeared to go into a seizure. His fellow teammates tried to keep the 22-year old player from choking on his tongue and eventually team medics got Puerta back on his feet and into the locker room. The game went on.

Subsequent news reports stated that Puerta, who was born in Sevilla and had played his entire career with the club, had suffered a heart attack. In the dressing room, Puerta's heart gave out yet again and he went into unconsciousness. He was whisked to the hospital where he was reportedly stable though in intensive care. But his body was unable to withstand the damage that had wracked it and unfortunately the player died this morning in Spain.

The medical report was as follows:

Doctors at the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville confirmed his death. "We regret to report that the patient Antonio Puerta died at [1230 GMT] today," read a hospital statement. "The death was caused by postanoxic encephalopathy and a multiple failure of his organs caused by the prolonged cardiac arrest that provoked his admission to hospital."

And again we revisit this verse.

James 4:13-14 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Some people like me are lucky and only have to deal with rescheduling airline tickets.

The family and friends of Antonio Puerta have to deal with an infinitely more significant loss.

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