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A visitor to Caldicot leisure centre recently returned to thank the centre’s staff for their quick response when he suffered a potentially fatal medical emergency earlier in the year. Alan Owen of Carmarthen suffered a cardiac arrest while he was at a Walking Football Tournament at the leisure centre on Sunday 3rd April 2022.

The immediate intervention of staff and players at the event is credited with saving his life. Alan was given CPR and a defibrillator was used prior to Alan being airlifted to Heath Hospital Cardiff, where he underwent surgery to have an ICD (implanted cardioverter defibrillator) and stents fitted.

During Alan’s return visit to Caldicot leisure centre last month, he met Kirsty Burnett, Briden Whitbread and Duty Officer Justin Aylett, to thank them for their life saving actions. All the leisure centre’s staff were delighted to see Alan looking so well.

Alan Owen with colleagues whose quick actions saved his safe in April 2022
Alan Owen with colleagues whose quick actions saved his safe in April 2022

All MonLife leisure centres across Monmouthshire have monthly training for all lifeguards on CPR and using the defibrillator machines to ensure they are prepared should a medical emergency occur

Cllr. Sara Burch, cabinet member with responsibility for Inclusive and Active Communities, said: “I am so proud of our colleagues at Caldicot leisure centre for their quick thinking intervention, without which the outcome could have been very different. It really does show the importance of having training in CPR and the use of defibrillators. I am very pleased to see Alan so well recovered and thank him for his kindness in coming back to visit Kirsty, Briden and Justin, and the rest of the team in Caldicot.”

Alan Owen said: “Without the early intervention of the players and staff who performed CPR and administered three shocks via the on-site defibrillator, I would not be alive today. The training that the staff undertook and put into practice on that day contributed to saving my life.”

CPR training can make the difference between life and death, and anyone can learn. The British Heart Foundation’s website has a helpful introduction to the basics:

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