A Liverpool squash player who suffered a heart attack on court thanked his pals for saving his life after they used a defibrillator machine to revive him.
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Geoff Wood, who collapsed during a singles match on court two at Aigburth Road’s Liverpool Cricket Club, said he “owes his life” to those that resuscitated him and to the machine which gave his heart a crucial rhythm again.
The 66-year-old, who is originally from Aigburth and now lives in Formby, had just took a shot in a match for Formby Squash Club against Liverpool South Squash Club’s Ozzie Omar when he blanked out, fell to the ground and cut his head on the court.
Speke dentist Sean O’Hara, who had been marking the North West Counties League western section match from the court balcony, ran for the premises defibrillator machine while squash player Steve Copplehouse began to carry out CPR.
As paramedics raced to the club, member and senior Merseyside doctor Professor David Graham was on hand to ensure that CPR was being carried out properly.
Geoff said: “I wouldn’t be here if it was not for the defibrillator machine being on the premises and if everyone that saved me were not trained properly. I owe them all my life.
“Sean and Steve ensured that I got oxygen to my brain and Sean used the defibrilator. I wouldn’t be here if it was not for them and David. I couldn’t have asked for a better response. They were all brilliant.
“All I remember is playing and then waking up in the Royal hospital’s coronary care unit three hours later. I was in hospital for 13 days and the staff there were brilliant too.
“It’s important that clubs have the machines because they save people’s lives and my club in Formby will be getting one in a couple of months. I’m ok now and I had a pacemaker fitted in November at Broadgreen hospital to help fire a current across my heart if it happened again.”
Sean said the equipment was easy to use.
He added: “I checked that Geoff had a pulse and he was breathing. The machine is great because it tells you what to do. The two patches were placed on him and the machine revived Geoff by firing a current across the heart. It put his heart back into rhythm.”
Professor Graham and Liverpool GP John Hussey wanted to get the defibrillator onto their club’s premises after a member has an arrest at the venue.
And now the club is hoping to get another defibrillator machine installed near the venue’s cricket pitch.
Professor Graham said: “We saw the benefit in having a defibrillator and it saved Geoff. It’s fantastic that Geoff is ok now.
“We want another machine and to get more people trained up in how to use it because it’s life-saving equipment. Every squash club should have them. Modern defibrillators are so easy to use.”
A campaign to get the defibrillators into public places gathered pace after the tragic death of Childwall youngster Oliver King, who died when his heart stopped as he swam in the pool at King David high school in March, 2011.
The OK Foundation, supported by the ECHO’s Heartbeat campaign, was set up in memory of the 12-year-old and it believes that a defibrillator would have saved the life of the sports-mad youngster.
Oliver’s father Mark King said: “The club was aware of the campaign and got themselves a defibrillator. We were booked in to go down and train them how to use it and maybe supply them with another one when the gentleman took ill.
“They managed to use it and saved his life, but they rang us up afterwards and said ‘We definitely need that other one now, we’ve just had to use the first one!’
“The fact that a life has been saved by awareness of the need for defibrillators in public places and sports centres is fabulous news, but it also should remind us all that any one of us could one day need a defibrillator nearby to save our own or someone else’s life.”