BOLTON Rugby Club has received a gift it hopes it never has to use.
The Bolton ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator) Support Group has raised money to donate two defibrillators to local organisations, and the rugby club was the first to receive one.
The group supports patients and their families after an ICD has been implanted into a patient.
An ICD is a small device, similar to a pacemaker, which monitors the heart rhythm and can deliver an electric shock to the heart if needed.
Members also wanted to raise funds to buy automated external defibrillators (AED) to improve survival rates in patients who suffer cardiac arrest in the local community.
Following the death of Oliver King, aged 12, in Liverpool earlier this year and the cardiac arrest of BoltonWanderers’ Fabrice Muamba, the group decided to focus initially on schools and sports clubs.
The group has teamed up with North West Ambulance Service and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust in an initiative to place defibrillators where there could be a higher risk of a cardiac arrest occurring.
These includes sports facilities, shopping centres, transport links and other places with a high volume of visitors.
The move is already saving lives in the North West as well as raising awareness of CPR, recognising cardiac arrest and how to help.
Lisa Martin, from rugby club’s junior section, said: “If the need should arise, the gift of life will be on hand here for any player or member of the crowd who urgently needs it.
“We have a great number of people, of all ages, who come down to the club over the weekends.
I am delighted that we have been presented with this life-saving machine — somehow it makes the club feel a safer place to be.”