Carluke centre staff saved man’s life

Steven Cochrane (left), Chris Markey (centre) and
Thomas Baxter (not pictured) carried out life-saving CPR  while Duty
Officer Fiona Miller operated the defibrillator at Carluke Leisure Centre.
Steven Cochrane (left), Chris Markey (centre) and Thomas Baxter (not pictured) carried out life-saving CPR while Duty Officer Fiona Miller operated the defibrillator at Carluke Leisure Centre.

A woman has hailed staff at Carluke Leisure Centre as heroes after their speedy action saved the life of her husband.

Her 74-year-old husband suffered a heart attack while taking part in a walking football fitness session for elderly men at the centre, off Carnwath Road, on Friday, January 20.

The man’s wife, who asked to remain anonymous, says she is absolutely certain she would be his widow now if not for what happened next.

“I was told that seconds after he fell to the floor, a fitness trainer in the centre we only knew by his first name of Chris shot to his side and started delivering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

“The rest of the centre team got involved, with Chris calling for the centre’s defibrillator to be brought immediately and for an ambulance to be called.

“Chris kept up the CPR on my husband and even kept his spirits up by apologising for having to rip his expensive Nike shirt open to deliver the heart massage.”

An ambulance rushed the man to Wishaw General Hospital, where he is now recovering.

His wife said: “When I got to the hospital, the doctor there told me that he would have had absolutely no hope if Chris and the centre team hadn’t acted in the way they did.

“She said they’d done an absolutely professional and superb job. As far as I am concerned, Chris and the centre staff saved my husband’s life, and I’ll be eternally grateful.”

South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture general manager Gerry Campbell identified the man’s saviour as the centre’s health and fitness duty officer, Chris Markey, and said: “He was first on the scene, and clearly his training kicked in immediately.

“Chris took charge providing care while his colleagues Steven Cochrane, Fiona Miller and Thomas Baxter assisted. The man’s family have been very kind , thanking the staff for their quick actions.”

A modest Chris stressed it had been a team effort, stating: “We are all first aid-trained and have refresher training at least once every two months, so we knew how to react and how to work together. It really was a case of the training taking over.

“It was only afterwards that the real enormity of the situation hit home, and the team really pulled together to give each other support.

“We are glad we had the training to help, and we send the gentleman best wishes for a speedy recovery.”