Rob Farnfield, 54, of Hackney Road in Matlock, was refereeing a match at Matlock Rugby Club last November when he had a heart attack and collapsed.
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Fortunately, two off-duty nurses were watching the game and gave him valuable resuscitation (CPR) until the First Responders arrived with a defibrillator, a portable piece of life saving equipment that delivers an electric shock through the chest wall to help restore the heart’s normal rhythm.
He was then taken by air ambulance to the University Hospital Coventry.
Rob, who was unconscious throughout most of the ordeal, was told he was resuscitated seven times.
He said: “There were about ten minutes to go in the game when I collapsed on the pitch. There was no warning or any pain. It was as if someone had just turned the power off.”
He added: “I felt fine beforehand. I’m reasonably fit, don’t have blood pressure or the things you would associate with a heart problems
After having a stent fitted, Rob spent five days in hospital recovering before taking on cardiac rehabilitation at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale.
He now takes part in gym sessions especially for heart patients, at Arc Leisure Matlock and within less than a year has gone from being able to walk just a few feet to walking from Matlock to Derby.
Rob has not refereed at Matlock Rugby Club since his heart attack but has been to the club base, at Cromford Meadows, many times since and the charity has paid for a defibrillator for the club house.