Home > Blog > How does footballer Tom Lockyer use LEGO to aid his recovery after his cardiac arrest?

How does footballer Tom Lockyer use LEGO to aid his recovery after his cardiac arrest?

You may have heard of the professional footballer Tom Lockyer, captain of premier league side Luton Town and defender within the Welsh national team. 

At the age of just 29, Lockyer collapsed during a premier league match between Luton Town and Bournemouth in December last year. He had suffered from a cardiac arrest live on the pitch in front of players, the thousands of fans who had travelled to watch the game and the millions watching the game live on television. 

Whilst medics successfully resuscitated Tom, he has since stated he was ‘technically dead’ for around two minutes and 40 seconds. Seven months before his cardiac arrest in December, Tom also collapsed during the Championship play-off final against Coventry, suffering from an atrial fibrillation of the heart. 

Tom’s health issues have resulted in doctors fitting a defibrillator to his heart and advising long-term rehabilitation to aid his recovery, forcing him into early retirement as a professional football player.

In a BBC breakfast interview in February this year, Tom explained his rehabilitation in more detail and revealed his huge passion for LEGO. His long-term recovery has resulted in plenty of time at home, allowing Tom to pursue his love for LEGO and challenge himself to build some of the big sets he’s collected. 

So far throughout his recovery, Tom has completed the LEGO Hogwarts Castle, a whopping 6000-piece replica of the iconic wizarding school featured in the Harry Potter series. His next challenge was to tackle the LEGO Disney Castle, an intricate, highly detailed set boasting over 4800 pieces that make the world-famous magical castle synonymous with the brand. 

After hearing about Tom’s recovery, his passion for LEGO and being a big fan of the Harry Potter series, we got in touch and gifted him the LEGO Collectors’ Edition of the Hogwart Icons.

Hearing Tom’s story and how his ongoing health battle had made him reevaluate his priorities in life – especially after welcoming his first child in March – made us want to send him a challenging LEGO set that would aid his recovery and help him continue his building passion. 

LEGO launched over 90 years ago and in that time the brand has built a huge fan base over the years, from young children to adults of all ages. Interestingly, LEGO has attracted attention for its health and wellbeing benefits too, which include: 

Reduces Stress Levels: LEGO’s own Play Well Report revealed that 86% of adults felt de-stressed and calmer during and after spending time building LEGO, proving that the challenge of a building set can have a positive impact on reducing our stress levels.

Boosts Happiness and Overall Mood: One of the main reasons why we participate in LEGO creation is that it’s brilliant fun and appeals to all ages. Whether you’re building alone or with family or friends, LEGO can make us feel good by triggering the release of the chemical dopamine; that ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. 

Can Help You Get Better Sleep: Settling down in the evening with a challenging LEGO set can help us concentrate and focus on the task at hand, taking our minds away from the stresses we’ve experienced during the day. Focusing on one thing before bedtime will help our brains wind down and prepare ourselves for a good night’s sleep. 

Offers a Great Sense of Achievement: Completing a LEGO set, whether it’s a small set or one that boasts over 6000 pieces, can offer a great sense of accomplishment when that last brick clicks into place. This in itself can be a powerful mood booster, particularly for those who struggle with stress and their mental health.