You can’t put a price on a life saved - a real-life story

You can’t put a price on a life saved - a real-life story

15 February 2018

Saturday afternoon, 15 December 2017. A team of four is playing their usual double tennis match in Kensington Gardens. Terry, a sports physician and long-term member of the club, watches his doubles partner closely as he is preparing to serve. There is a grunt, then it seems as if his partner freezes for a split second before collapsing on the ground.

Initially, the patient is still breathing. Terry does not hesitate and instantly starts coordinating the first aid efforts managing the airway. Within about a minute of collapse, the breathing stops.

Terry immediately commences chest compressions. Someone calls an ambulance. Another grabs the defibrillator from inside the club house.

As soon as both defibrillator pads are applied to the chest, the machine starts analysing the patient’s heart rhythm and advises to shock.

A single shock is applied.

Terry feels for a pulse, which returns within seconds, and the patient regains consciousness and starts talking within a minute of being shocked. It all happens within 4 or 5 minutes of collapse. Shortly after, the ambulance arrives.

A couple of weeks later, the patient, a senior member of the club, has already recovered after receiving medical and surgical treatment and can continue his normal life, all thanks to the skilled and immediate response by his fellow club members, and the availability of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). All he’s missing is about 15 minutes of memory, from just before the collapse to being in the back of the ambulance.

Changing the odds – one AED at a time

Without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest decrease by 10% with every passing minute. St John SA’s mission is to save lives through first aid, and a core element of this commitment is bringing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) into our communities. Defibrillators have proven over and over again to be lifesaving devices, increasing the chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital from less than 10%, up to 70% – when applied within the first few minutes.

Statistics are one thing. Actually hearing the story of someone who has used an AED in real life adds another dimension. The members of Kensington Gardens Bowling and Tennis Club are incredibly grateful for having been able to save the life of not just a member of their club, but a friend, a husband, a loved one. Having experienced it first-hand, they believe that every sports club should own an AED.

We are working towards making this vision a reality: If you are a member of a sporting or community club, we would love to support you in obtaining an AED to give you the potential to achieve the same lifesaving outcome.


Contact us to find out about current promotions (call 1300 78 5646), or learn more about defibrillators here!