Bernard Gallacher defibrillator saves a golfer’s life

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham January 8, 2016 08:00 Updated

A club that purchased a defibrillator as part of Bernard Gallacher’s campaign to have one in every golf venue in the UK has used it on a golfer who was having a heart attack on the course, and it saved his life.

bernard gallacher

Flickr / Arrhythmia Alliance

The former Ryder Cup captain suffered a near fatal heart attack at an Aberdeen golf club in 2013 but was saved by a defibrillator, which provides electric shocks to the body. He responded by setting up the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign, which helped scores of golf clubs purchase the machines, usually for the first time in their history.

One of those venues was Bathgate Golf Club in Scotland, which he donated a defibrillator to in 2014. Recently 44-year-old father-of-three Craig Bowse was playing golf there, when he began to suffer from a major cardiac arrest.

‘He started to feel unwell and, seconds later, slumped to the ground,’ stated the Edinburgh Evening News.

‘A bar steward and a club professional rushed to his aid, delivering chest compressions and using the on-site defibrillator to deliver the vital shock needed to restart his heart.’

Craig said: “I woke up in hospital and wondered where I was. All my family were there and they had to tell me what happened.

“The doctor told me that because it was a massive trauma my short-term memory has gone. I can’t remember the full week up to it and the full week after it.”

After his ordeal, Craig was in a coma for four days before spending another three at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Craig had never suffered heart problems in the past and was back at work within five weeks of the heart attack.

He said: “I have a lot to thank the staff at the club for. My brother came with me in the ambulance and apparently the paramedics said it was the defib that saved me.

“I am definitely behind clubs getting them as who knows what would have happened if Bathgate didn’t have one?”

Gerard Flannigan, secretary of Bathgate Golf Club, said: “The defibrillator had sat unused on the wall in the club – but we are delighted it was there.

“We did receive a letter from the Scottish Ambulance Service afterwards which said it was the actions of the staff that saved his life. All the staff got the training on how to use it.”


Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham January 8, 2016 08:00 Updated
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1 Comment

  1. David Strachan January 11, 09:53

    Great to have the life saving equipment at the a club all thanks to Bernard Gallacher and to also have great Staff at Bathgate Golf Club.

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