Mag­pies premier­ship foot­ballers come to res­cue of heart at­tack vic­tim

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SI­MONE KER­WIN sker­win@ ne­me­

A POP­U­LAR lo­cal sport- ing fig­ure owes his life to the quick-think­ing ac­tions of Wan­garatta Mag­pies premier­ship play­ers and of­fi­cials, and the club’s de­fib­ril­la­tor.

Well-known lo­cal cricket and bas­ket­ball iden­tity Barry Grant was as­sisted at the Norm Minns Oval on Tues­day by Mag­pies premier­ship coach Dean Stone, ad­min­is­tra­tor Rob Doolan, and play­ers in­clud­ing Will Reilly, Dan Boyle, Zac Hedin and Mick New­ton, after he suf­fered a sus­pected heart at­tack at the ground.

He was sta­bilised by the group be­fore the ar­rival of paramedics, and trans­ported to hos­pi­tal; though flown to Mel­bourne late on Tues­day for tests, he is ex­pected to re­cover well.

Mr Stone said it was a case of “right place, right time” for the Mag­pies, as they were only at the ground at the time be­cause the bus ar­ranged to take them to premier­ship cel­e­bra­tions was run­ning late.

And Mr Doolan’s aware- ness of the de­fib­ril­la­tor’s lo­ca­tion en­sured it could be used at the cru­cial time.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to stop and think, not only about hav­ing these ma­chines at your work­place or sport­ing club or wher­ever, but to know where they are when you need them,” Mr Stone said.

“I’d tell any­one who hasn’t used one just how bril­liant they are; they tell you what to do, it’s very clear, and we had Mick New­ton on the phone to triple 0 help­ing in­form us about what to do.

“It says a lot for our emer­gency ser­vices about how won­der­ful they were, and thank­fully these things helped save Baz’s life.

“I wouldn’t say any of us were calm or re­laxed, but the lady on the phone was so great, she kept us on track.”

Mr Stone en­cour­aged ev­ery­one to learn CPR and ba­sic first aid skills.

“I’ve never done a course, though I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity a cou­ple of times through my work, but I think I’ll put it on my bucket list,” he said.

And he be­lieves the avail­abil­ity of de­fib­ril­la­tors is es­sen­tial, es­pe­cially in sport­ing clubs.

“You’re al­most neg­li­gent if you don’t have one,” he said.

Mr Doolan said he had been work­ing in the clu­b­rooms while the play­ers waited for their bus, and be­came aware Mr Grant needed help.

“One of the fellas, Will Reilly, yelled out to grab the de­fib­ril­la­tor, and they’d al­ready com­menced heart com­pres­sions,” he said.

Mr Doolan agreed that the de­fib­ril­la­tor was easy to use, and came with clear in­struc­tions that en­abled the Mag­pies group to give the help needed.

“It’s a mar­vel­lous piece of equip­ment, and it would be bril­liant if you could have one on ev­ery street cor­ner,” he said.

“We’ve had it for a num­ber of years, and get one of our train­ers who’s skilled in these things to check it ev­ery 12 months.

“If it’s never used again, so be it - it was there when we needed it, and be­cause it was used quickly, it im­proved Barry’s prospects.

“The fact he’s al­right is bet­ter than win­ning a premier­ship.”

Mr Grant’s twin brother, Dar­ren, said the fam­ily was thank­ful for the as­sis­tance of the Mag­pies play­ers and of­fi­cials.

“We’re eter­nally grate­ful to those boys that they got good di­rec­tion and were able to help him,” he said.

TO THE RES­CUE: Zac Hedin (left) and Michael New­ton with the de­fib­ril­la­tor they used. SAVED: Renowned crick­eter Barry Grant (be­low).

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