Dr John Mayhew out of induced coma, progressing well

Dr John Mayhew was rushed to hospital but details of why he became unwell are not clear. Photo / Getty Images
Dr John Mayhew was rushed to hospital but details of why he became unwell are not clear. Photo / Getty Images

Warriors doctor John Mayhew is no longer in an induced coma and is progressing well after suffering cardiac arrest on Tuesday night.

The former All Black and Blues doctor has been talking with his family and is very comfortable, his family said in a statement released by the club today.

Mayhew collapsed after an exercise class in Auckland on Tuesday and a family spokesperson confirmed yesterday he had a cardiac arrest as a result of a heart problem.

The 60-year-old was successfully resuscitated and put in an induced coma in intensive care in North Shore Hospital.


Former Blues coach Sir John Kirwan tonight told the Herald he was praying for Mayhew.

"The man saved my life, so obviously I'm praying for him and for [his wife] Sue and the family ... I just love the man."

A long-time advocate for mental health awareness, Sir John described in his book, All Blacks Don't Cry, how he and his family contacted Mayhew after the star wing realised he needed help for depression.

"Together, we rang Doc Mayhew - the All Black doctor, John Mayhew, who had become a family friend over the years - and he came round. He said - 'I don't know a lot about it but I'll get you some help'," Sir John wrote.

Sir John said he had spoken with Mrs Mayhew, but did not want to go into detail.

He was confident Mayhew - "a brilliant and strong man" - would recover.

Sir John said he was not aware of Mayhew suffering from health problems.

"He's always been fit and healthy. I just saw him on the sideline for the Warriors on Saturday."

Mayhew grew up in a soccer family - his grandfather captained the Wolverhampton Wanderers - and he played soccer and cricket before switching to rugby at age 15, after which he played a couple of games for North Harbour B.

Mayhew, who was on the sidelines for 131 All Blacks tests, has been the team doctor for the Warriors for most of the past decade. He became an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to sports medicine in the New Years Honours List.

He was also the medical officer for Kiwi squash, cross-country and Commonwealth Games teams. Last year he was appointed to the board of Drug Free Sport New Zealand.

Among the sportspeople he became close to was late All Blacks superstar Jonah Lomu, who suffered from a kidney disorder that contributed to his death, aged 40, in November.

Mayhew, a pall-bearer at Lomu's Eden Park memorial service, said at the time he always admired Lomu for his courage in pushing on with his rugby career despite serious health setbacks.

- NZ Herald

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