Bid to install life-saving kit at every UK golf club

Cotswold Journal: Richard Hills, Ryder Cup director; Lesley and Bernard Gallacher; Jo Jerrome, assistant CEO Arrhythmia Alliance; Sandy Jones, chief executive of the Professional Golfers’ Association. Richard Hills, Ryder Cup director; Lesley and Bernard Gallacher; Jo Jerrome, assistant CEO Arrhythmia Alliance; Sandy Jones, chief executive of the Professional Golfers’ Association.

A SHIPSTON charity has teamed up with a former Ryder Cup captain to launch a campaign to install life-saving defibrillators in every golf club in the UK.

Arrhythmia Alliance – the heart rhythm charity – has launched the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator campaign, which is spearheaded by golf star, Bernard Gallacher and his wife, Lesley.

The charity, alongside the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), will send a letter to all clubs encouraging the placement of potentially lifesaving automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

The campaign is in response to former Ryder Cup captain Mr Gallacher suffering a life-threatening cardiac arrest as he was about to speak at a dinner reception in Aberdeen, in August.

But his life was saved thanks to the prompt actions of other guests, the availability of a defibrillator and early CPR treatment at the venue.

Mr Gallacher, aged 64, said: “I consider myself incredibly fortunate that a defibrillator was on hand in Aberdeen to resuscitate me following my sudden cardiac arrest.

“But for that and the quickthinking and expertise of medical personnel in the room that night, I wouldn’t be here today.

“Without early intervention, an individual has just a five per cent chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest, so Lesley and I felt it appropriate to try to ensure others are equally fortunate should they collapse in or around a golfing venue.”

Trudie Lobban, chief executive of Arrhythmia Alliance , said: “Bernard’s experience shows the life-saving difference of early CPR and use of a defibrillator when someone collapses from sudden cardiac arrest.

“An estimated 100,000 people in the UK die each year from sudden cardiac arrest.

That is more people than die from AIDS, breast cancer and lung cancer combined.

“UK Golf clubs serve more than four million people each year, but only a third currently have an AED. Our aim is for every club to have one by the end of 2014.”

Nearly 200 devices have already been installed as part of the charity’s ‘Hearts and Goals’ campaign, launched by former footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffering a cardiac arrest and collapsed on pitch during the first half of an FA Cup tie in March 2012.

Mr Gallacher’s charity has just received a £10,000 donation from the PGA to tee off its campaign. For details on the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator campaign, visit defibssavelives.org.

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