Leisure centre heroes bring two men back to life
BURSCOUGH leisure centre staff have been praised for saving the lives of two local men who collapsed and nearly died while playing sports.
Patricia Caul and her team at Burscough Racquet & Fitness Centre saved the lives of West Lancashire men Tommy Knox, 79, and Eddie Jones, 57.
In June last year, after his twiceweekly game of badminton, Tommy had a heart attack and collapsed in the changing rooms.
Pat, 55, a duty manager at the leisure centre, and her team arrived at the changing rooms to find Tommy on the floor, not breathing.
Pat successfully managed to get Tommy breathing again by carrying out CPR and using a defibrillator.
And in February this year, Pat and the team were on hand again to save another life when Eddie Jones had a heart attack and collapsed at his regular indoor football game.
The team were at the scene quickly and, upon arrival, Pat and her team found Eddie unconscious and they managed to keep him alive until the first responders arrived.
Pat said: “We’ve got a great team here at Burscough and we really care about the people who use our centre – some of them feel like members of the family.
“So, being able to help people in this way is something I’m very proud of, but I know for me and the rest of the team here, we just feel we were simply doing our jobs.”
After both occasions, the NHS team that arrived to deal with both men said that, without the Burscough team’s rapid response, it was very unlikely that either of the men would still be around today.
Since the incidents, Tommy and Eddie have been fitted with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). These devices help people with abnormal heart rhythms by giving the heart electric shocks every time there is an issue, causing the heart rate to stabilise again.
Jason Grice, chairman of West Lancashire Community Leisure, which runs the centre, said: “The trust board was delighted to hear about the heroic efforts of our employees at Burscough.
“We’re so proud of everyone’s efforts, whether that be our staff’s commitment to training to deal with this sort of incident, or just by keeping centres clean and safe places for the community to us - all the great work is paying off.
“Well done to Pat, the management team and all others involved. Keep up the good work.”
Fortunately, Tommy is back playing badminton and visits the centre a couple of times every week.
Eddie, husband to Sylvia, has also been referred back to Burscough by his GP, under the Active West Lancashire Programme.
Jason said: “It’s great to hear that Tommy and Eddie are back ‘up and running’ again and enjoying their chosen sports – long may they continue to do so!”