Fan had heart attack seconds after Bettis fumble

Updated: January 17, 2006, 5:18 PM ET
Associated Press

Talk about a heart-stopping game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.

Heart-to-heart talk
On The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, Jerome Bettis was surprised to be joined by Terry O'Neill, who had a heart attack seconds after his fumble against the Colts on Sunday.

Bettis and O'Neill chat Insider

Terry O'Neill, 50, of Pittsburgh, was watching the game at a bar and had a heart attack seconds after Jerome Bettis fumbled trying to score from the 2-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger prevented the Colts' Nick Harper from returning the recovered ball for a touchdown and the Steelers hung on for a 21-18 win.

O'Neill said Bettis is his hero.

"I wasn't upset that the Steelers might lose," he said. "I was upset because I didn't want to see him end his career like that. A guy like that deserves better. I guess it was a little too much for me to handle."

O'Neill, who was recovering at a hospital, credits two firefighters with saving him.

"The Steelers won the game and I'm still alive, so I guess I'm doing pretty good," he said.

He will have a pacemaker implanted to control an irregular heartbeat and he was prescribed medication to deal with the hypertension.

And while he would like to go to the bar to thank the guys who saved him, O'Neill said, "but for the most part I guess I should probably take it easy and watch the game at home."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE