Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ex-Ireland cricketer whose life was saved by quick-thinking son backs Co Down golf club’s heart charity initiative

Must read

The collaboration between Donaghadee Golf Club and the charity came after its longest-serving patron Chris Harte survived a cardiac attack thanks to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and a defibrillator at another golf club.

In April 2023, the 75-year-old cricketer said he began to feel unwell with a sore shoulder and an indigestion-type feeling.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Harte stopped breathing.

Fortunately, his son arrived at the scene and began to perform CPR on his father – ultimately saving his life.

“Michael is also a teacher and had fortunately been trained in CPR, so he quickly began CPR on Chris while I called an ambulance,” said Mr Harte’s wife Anne.

“Shortly after, my daughter Jennifer and her friend Eimhear, who is an A&E consultant at Antrim Area Hospital, arrived at the house and Eimhear took over CPR from Michael.

“Eimhear happened to be free and available to come over. And just the previous week she spotted a defibrillator in Carnalea Golf Club, which is close to our home.

“She was able to send Michael straight to the golf club to get it and she used the defibrillator twice before the ambulance arrived to get Chris’s heart going again.”

Mr Harte was later placed into an induced coma and required four stents to be placed into his heart.

He praised the new partnership between his golf club and the BHF.

“I, along with other members of the club, are fully aware of how a cardiac arrest can affect anyone, at any time,” he said.

“We want as many people as possible to learn CPR to create a community of lifesavers so that, if the unthinkable happened, they would know how to save a loved one with quick actions.”

Neil Bailey and Yvonne Clark, the captains at Donaghadee Golf Club, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, will dedicate the next year to raising funds for the charity.

“Over the past year, Donaghadee Golf Club has sadly seen several members suffering cardiac arrests, and the club captains are determined to ensure, through the partnership with BHF NI, that all members are trained and equipped to deal with life-threatening situations, on and off the course,” a statement announcing the partnership said.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Mr Bailey said: “I’m delighted to be joining Yvonne in supporting BHF NI this year. Together we’ll be organising events to raise funds for much-needed heart research carried out at Queen’s University, Belfast.

“We also want to raise members’ awareness about heart health and how they can help save lives by learning CPR and how to use defibrillators.”

Ms Clark added: “Sadly, last year, a number of our members suffered cardiac arrests and this has brought into the spotlight how vitally important it is for our members, their families and friends to have the skills and confidence to deal with an unexpected situation on the golf course or at home.”

Former broadcaster and politician Fearghal McKinney, who is now head of the British Heart Foundation in Northern Ireland, said: “I’m delighted that Donaghadee Golf Club has chosen BHF NI as its charity of the year and is raising funds through a number of fun events.

“It’s very encouraging that its members will be learning CPR through our free online training tool RevivR. Every moment matters when someone has a cardiac arrest, and being able to step in and perform CPR could be the difference between life and death.”

The charity’s free, interactive, online training tool RevivR can teach CPR and the correct steps of defibrillator use in just 15 minutes, with users receiving a certificate after completion of the course.

The tool means anyone can learn life-saving CPR skills anywhere, anytime — all that is required are a mobile phone and a cushion.

Latest article