‘People were in the right place at the right time’
Natalie says thanks to defibrillator ‘team’ who brought her Grandad, 79, back to life.
A Grandad was brought back to life after a heart attack outside the Reebok Stadium. Today his grandaughter has said a hugh thank you to the people who rushed to save him following Bolton Wanderers clash with Blackpool FC.
Blackpool fan Derek Smith, aged 79, had been to watch his team play the Whites at the Reebok on Saturday 4th May 2013. It was a treat organised by his grandaughter, Natalie Smith, and included a visit to the players lounge, where he met former White’s star Fabrice Muamba.
But just minutes after the match, Mr Smith had a heart attack in the car just as the family set off for home. Mark Green, Miss Smith’s step-father, who wsa driving pulled over near Middlebrook police station and screamed for help. PC Garry Lee, who was on duty and nearby, raced over to help. He pulled Mr Smith, who was not breathing, out of the car. PC Lee could not find a pulse and immediatley began CPR while an ambulance was called.
A retired police inspector and police community support officers also came to help, along with off-duty nurse Tracey Garde. Lesley Hough, duty manager of Bolton Arena, ran down to the station with their portable defibrillator after receiving a call for help from the police.
Mr Smith was “SHOCKED” four times before the ambulance arrived and was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital. He was later transferred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he is now out of intensive care and is expected to make a full recovery.
Miss Smith, aged 25, from Manchester, said “We had a lovely day at the match, which was a treat I had organised for my grandad as he loves going to matches and I promised to take him to one. I had just got to my car, as we travelled separately, when I got a call from my step-dad saying to come over to the police station as grandad had a funny turn. I left the car as there was loads of traffic, and I did not realise how serious it was until someone said to me ‘Are you the lady with the defib?’. He is now out of intensive care and is a bit confused but he is doing well. I just want to thank everyone who was involved in helping to save him. If they had not acted so quickly he might not be here today”
Miss Smith, a secondary school teacher, is now backing The Every School Leaver a Life Saver campaign being run by The Bolton News. Launched with the support Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, it supports the work of the Hearts and Goals campaign, which is being promoted by Muamba. The 25 years old suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch with CPR and a defibrillator before being rushed to the London Chest Hospital.
Miss Smith added “I want all the children to know how to do CPR and it is important that it is highlighted.” Modest hero PC Lee, who was first on the scene, has said it was a “team effort”. He added: “Within seconds I realised he had no pulse and got him out and started doing CPR. Lots of other people came to help and it was a real team effort. I am glad he is going to be okay.”
Miss Hough said the Arena has had a defibrillator for several years – but this is the first time that it had been used. She added: “This could have been a different outcome had it not been for everyone’s help. It seemed people were in the right place at the right time. This could happen to anyone anywhere and this shows that being able to do CPR and use defibrillators works.”
Tracey Garde, a nurse at the Royal Bolton Hospital and chairman of the ICD (Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator) Support Group for Patients and Carers in the Bolton Community was off duty but rushed to help. She said in a message posted on the social networking website, Facebook: “We did what we want everyone to do – everyone needs to learn CPR. You never know when you may need it. I’ve done it hundreds of times during my nursing career, but it is different when in the middle of a car park with a bunch of strangers and no equipment. It was fantastic team work and we all pulled together to fight for this lovely chap. So pleased our efforts paid off and he is doing well – worth more than anything to hear that as so many out of hospital cardiac arrest patients don’t survive.”
Steve Nicholls, a community resuscitation development officer at North West Ambulance Service, says the actions of the team who worked on Mr Smith show the need for defibrillators in public places. He added: “I am delighted with the outcome of this incident it was a real team effort, Effective CPR and having quick access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) ultimately gave this gentleman the best chance of survival.
Derek Smith has now been fitted with an ICD and been discharged from hospital. Derek Smith met his lifesavers our chairman Tracey Garde, PC Gary Lee and Paramedic Steve Nicholls which was shown on the local ITV News. http://www.itv.com/news/granada/story/2013-05-27/football-fan-meets-lifesavers/