The family man was playing for Nutley against Hadlow Down when he was taken ill and was incredibly lucky that everybody there rallied quickly and took effective action.
Ian Ritchie of Nutley Cricket Club takes up the story:
Saturday, July 6, was a beautifully sunny day, perfect for cricket on Nutley’s Fords Green ground on the Ashdown Forest. What could possibly spoil a match between two village sides as Nutley took on Hadlow Down?
Well, nothing, until 15 overs in, at which point one of Nutley’s players left the field with chest pains and suddenly the cricket became irrelevant. The game was halted as it became obvious that his condition was serious and an ambulance was called.
Doctors and paramedic
Thankfully on this occasion, Hadlow Down happened to have two doctors and a paramedic in their team who were able to take control of the situation from Nutley’s basic first aiders.
Confirming the player was suffering a ‘cardiac episode’ and armed only with a stethoscope between them they suggested an aspirin may ease the situation. With none in the first aid kit a quick knock on the doors of adjacent cottages provided the pill.
After a 40-minute wait an ambulance appeared at the ground at which point the patient went into full cardiac arrest. CPR was administered immediately and within two minutes he was connected to a defibrillator which delivered a shock followed by more CPR for a short time before he, thankfully, gurgled back to life.
After further treatment at the scene, he was rushed to Brighton Hospital where he was rapidly diagnosed and fitted with a stent.
So remarkable is his recovery so far that he was discharged from hospital just three days later. Obviously, he will require a long recovery but the fact that he is with us at all is due entirely to the efforts of those at the ground, the ambulance crews and the hospital staff.
This incident has naturally shocked us all and not every match will have medical experts at the ground to provide instant care, advice and support.
So, could we have been better prepared as a club?
We have a first aid kit. We have a few first aiders who are qualified through their work. We have a defibrillator at the pavilion thanks to the generosity of the Uckfield Lions and local donations. We rang for an ambulance.
In truth our club member survived because of an unlikely set of circumstances which meant everything was in his favour at his exact moment of critical need. Time and timing are everything!
Immediate and effective CPR is critical and combined with a defibrillator greatly enhance the chances of survival. Thankfully, that is exactly what he got!
Nutley Cricket Club wish to offer special thanks Hadlow Down’s Karim, Shauib and Simon for their medical intervention and to the excellent ambulance crews but also huge thanks to David, Kris, Andrew, Joe, Steve, Will, Douglas and Ryan for their reaction in clearing the ground, pavilion etc.
Hadlow Down as a club went far above the ‘Spirit of the Game’ and we shall be forever in their debt.
As for the match? Who cares? The important result is that a loving husband and father is still with us thanks to a bizarre set of circumstances and some highly skilled medics and has returned to the arms of his loving family. PHEW!!!
• Ian has deliberately not named the player. He wanted to protect the man’s privacy as he continues his recovery.
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