Golfing legend launches defibrillator campaign in Virginia Water

Published: 19 Dec 2013 17:000 comments

FORMER European Ryder Cup-winning captain Bernard Gallacher has launched a nationwide campaign to see defibrillators readily available in all golf clubs.

The Ascot resident was joined by hundreds of golfing friends and

colleagues when he officially launched the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign 2014 at Wentworth Club in Virginia Water on Monday.

His campaign bids to see more automatic external defibrillators (AEDs)

in-stalled at golf clubs across the country after he suffered a cardiac arrest in August.

The 64-year-old has said his life was only saved by the availability of

an AED when he collapsed at the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen while giving

a sports talk, as well as the quick-thinking of staff and guests.

The incident, which included medics having to restart his heart three

times during a 15-day stay at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, has since

inspired Mr Gallacher and his wife Lesley to begin the campaign.

He said: “I consider myself incredibly fortunate that a defibrillator

was on hand in Aberdeen to resuscitate me following my sudden cardiac arrest.

“But for that AED and the quick-thinking, expertise and life-saving

skills of the medical personnel in the room that night, I wouldn’t be here today.

“Currently, just 30% of golf clubs have a defibrillator and our stated

aim is to try to raise awareness of the importance of having an AED

close by in case of emergency, and to increase that figure considerably

by encouraging every club or driving range in the UK and Ireland to have

at least one public-access defibrillator by the end of 2014.

“Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, and possibly on the

golf course. We want to do whatever it takes to raise the level of awareness of defibrillators.”

The campaign’s fundraising and awareness efforts is being run alongside

partnerships with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) and heart

rhythm charity Arrhythmia Alliance.

Sandy Jones, chief executive of the PGA, said: “All of us at the

European Tour are fully supportive of Bernard and Lesley’s campaign to

get AEDs into every golfing facility in the UK and Ireland and we will

provide all possible assistance to ensure the Campaign achieves its ultimate goal.”

AEDs give simple audio and visual commands to guide users. They require

no medical training to use and cost around £1,300 each

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