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‘Thank you doesn’t seem enough’ - Alcester leisure centre staff save 25-year-old’s life

A YOUNG man who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing badminton had his life saved by a karate club and staff at Alcester’s Greig Leisure Centre.

Harry Marsh, 25, collapsed suddenly during a game with his friends last month.

Four members of MKMA Karate, who were training in the sports hall, checked his pulse and immediately started doing chest compressions, while Harry’s friends went for help.

Leisure centre general manager Tom Wilson also came to Harry’s aid. Between him and the karate club members, they administered CPR and used a defibrillator on Harry, shocking him twice.

Meanwhile, duty manager Danny Costello cleared the sports hall to clear the path for paramedics after an ambulance had been called.

Harry Marsh, left, whose life was saved after he collapsed while playing badminton at the Greig Leisure Centre.
Harry Marsh, left, whose life was saved after he collapsed while playing badminton at the Greig Leisure Centre.

Harry, from Alcester, was taken to hospital for tests which revealed he had the genetic heart condition, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. He has been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to manage the condition and prevent any future episodes.

Harry said: “A thank you doesn’t seem enough when they saved my life. I feel incredibly lucky that not only am I here, but I am also in good health.

“It’s all down to the staff and the karate class who acted quickly and saved me. I’m now in a position where I can still live a normal and active life. I’ve got six weeks of rest now, but after that, I can resume my normal life – all thanks to everyone on hand that day.”

Harry returned to the leisure centre a week later to thank the staff and karate club.

Richard Bell, contract manager for Everyone Active, which runs the leisure centre on behalf of Stratford District Council, said: “I’m immensely proud of Tom, Danny and the rest of the team for how they reacted on that day. It’s a testament to their professionalism and care for our members.

“It also highlights how critical CPR training is, particularly in the world of sport where the number of young people with life-threatening heart conditions is growing.”

British Heart Foundation has launched the Every Minute Matters campaign to highlight heart conditions and the need for people to learn life-saving CPR skills. Fronted by footballers such as Luton Town’s Tom Lockyer and former Liverpool player Graeme Souness, who have experienced cardiac issues, the campaign aims to get more than 250,000 people trained in CPR skills over the next year. Around 23,000 people have already stepped up.

Richard added: “We’re so pleased that Harry is recovering, and that the doctors have given him the green light to resume normal activity after six weeks. It goes to show that, the more people who are trained in administering CPR, the more positive outcomes we can have like this.”

To find out more about BHF’s campaign, visit https://tinyurl.com/2863fszt.

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