West Coast great Peter Matera is “lucky to be alive” after suffering a “severe” heart attack while chopping wood at his home in country Victoria.
According to younger brother Phil, himself an Eagles great and five-time leading goal scorer for the club, if not for Matera’s wife Suzy, he may not have survived on Sunday.
“The doctor was saying he was lucky he had someone with him and they could get him straight into the hospital,” Phil Matera told 7NEWS.
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“He was chopping wood and got a few pains in his chest and luckily he wasn’t out on the tractor like he normally is.”
It was Matera’s wife Suzy who was nearby when the 53-year-old collapsed.
According to 7NEWS’ Adrian Barich, it was Suzy’s actions that saved Matera’s life.
“Fortunately his partner Suzy was close by; if he was by himself, he wouldn’t have made it,” Barich said.
“He was in a lot of pain and told he may not have survived a flight to Melbourne.”
Matera was rushed 90 kilometres to a hospital in Bendigo, where he remains in a serious condition in ICU.
Matera’s son Jordan and brother Phil have already departed Perth to be by the Eagles’ great’s bedside.
Matera suffered four blockages and had to have two stents inserted.
The Eagles great had been due to fly back to WA to take part in the club’s 30-year anniversary celebrations for the 1992 premiership – where he won the Norm Smith Medal for his five-goal effort.
“I thank (everyone) all for their support and well wishes,” Phil said.
“(Peter) was telling me last week how excited he was to get back to the reunion.”
Matera, a two-time premiership player drafted from South Fremantle, played 253 games for West Coast in a career that spanned more than a decade.
He is a five-time All Australian and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
He also finished runner up in the 1994 Brownlow Medal count.
In a statement, West Coast said Matera was receiving the “best of care” as he recovered in hospital.
“The club is saddened by this news and wishes Peter a speedy and full recovery,” a spokesperson said.
“Our thoughts are with Peter, Suzy and his family, who have requested for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Matera is not the first sporting great to suffer a heart attack in recent months.
Cricketers Rod Marsh and Shane Warne sadly suffered fatal heart attacks earlier this year.
WA cricket identity Ryan Campbell remains on the mend after being placed in an induced coma after his heart attack last month.