A hockey player at Clydesdale Western Wildcats HC has described how his best friend and team-mate saved his life after he collapsed during a match and was feared dead for nearly 10 minutes.
Andrew Allan, who plays for the Glasgow-based Premier Division side, stepped in to help lifelong pal Ewan Fraser, 30, after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch last month. The pair have been best friends since aged four and have played hockey together for 15 years.
Ewan fell to the ground and turned blue after he stopped breathing in the match with Clydesdale and Teddington.
Andrew had taken a first aid training course with St Andrew’s First Aid as a defibrillator was delivered and they undertook CPR. The players put Ewan in the recovery position while they waited for an ambulance and Andrew was later told that he had saved his friend’s life.
Allan is now heading up the Scottish First Aid Awards and said: “In some ways, I feel like we just went into autopilot when Ewan collapsed, and we could see he wasn’t breathing.
“He was turning blue and my instincts just kicked in. I am so thankful I remembered what to do.”
An ambulance arrived within 10 minutes and the Ewan made “remarkable progress” in the following days.
Ewan, a car rental boss who has since made a recovery from the ordeal and is now back training, said: “You really can’t do much more than helping to save someone’s life.
“I feel like this is something I’ll never be able to repay Andrew and my teammates for. I just hope that if I was ever in the same position, I would have reacted in exactly the same way.”
Andrew was assisted by team-mate Ben Cosgove, who helped to give Ewan rescue breaths, and Holly Steiger, who accessed the club’s defibrillator. They were also aided by Euan Lindsay and Jack Mackenzie.
Clydesdale HC “couldn’t stress enough the importance of having a defibrillator in close attendance during any sporting event that takes place.”
Andrew added: “First aid and CPR training is one of those things that you do, because you know it’s important, but you wish you never have to use. I’m just so glad I had done it and that I had the support of my teammates too.”
Ewan has had an internal heart-start device fitted, however the cause of the incident has yet to be determined.
Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, the charity which has taught CPR skills, said: “Ewan’s story highlights how important it is for life-saving skills to be common knowledge.
“A young, fit and healthy man suffering a cardiac arrest is not as unusual as many may think, and it’s so important that we know how to respond in these types of situations.”
Callison said that Andrew’s quick thinking and delivery of CPR saved his friends life.
“He and his fellow teammates are excellent examples of just how important it is to be trained in first aid,” he added.
“This is a story that brings home the message that cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time and you simply never know when you might need someone to step in and save your life.
“As a charity, we are immensely proud to have Andrew help us launch our awards this year.”