An amateur golfer has paid tribute to a group of “hero” friends who jumped to his aid when he suffered a life-threatening heart attack.
Alan Driscoll, a keen member of Pontypridd Golf Club, almost died when he went into cardiac arrest on the seventh hole.
But luckily four of the 58-year-old’s golfing companions came to his aid and performed CPR for 25 minutes until paramedics arrived.
It is thought Mr Driscoll, a former chartered surveyor, only had a 10% chance of making a full recovery after doctors later found a large blood clot in a pulmonary artery.
“The simple truth is they saved my life – they are my heroes,” said Mr Driscoll.
“I may have suffered broken ribs as a result of the CPR, but it’s not a bad trade-off for my life.
“These men have been friends of mine for the past 40-odd years and I won’t be able to thank them enough.
“I have learnt never to take friendship – or the social side of golf – for granted.”
Mr Driscoll was taking part in a pairs competition when he collapsed.
His teammate, ex-policeman John Williams, along with golfers Tony Williams and Tony Real, called an ambulance and immediately began working on their unconscious friend.
The club’s vice-chairman Brian Job, an ex-marine, then joined them to carry out a fraught 25-minutes of CPR. Once paramedics arrived, they shocked Alan twice with a defibrillator before an Air Ambulance crew took him to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
At the hospital an ice blanket was placed over Mr Driscoll to lower his body temperature and keep his organs functioning.
He was given a coronary angioplasty and a stent to keep his arteries clear, before being discharged from hospital six days after he collapsed. He is now undergoing regular physiotherapy until his broken ribs mend and is expected to make a 100% recovery after the January 4 attack.
“I’ve been to the golf club a couple of times since,” he said. “The first time was pretty emotional as people were telling me what a fright I’d given them. But, of course, I don’t remember any of it. We’ve all shared a drop of whisky together and hopefully at some stage I’ll be back playing golf.
“But I’m going to wait until the weather improves!”
Pontypridd Golf Club, which was established in 1905, hopes to raise money to buy a defibrillator to store in the clubhouse.