Sheffield dad's mission to change defibrillator law so 'everyone has right to go home to their families'
Peter Dixon has watched two men in his life collapse from heart failure on a sports field; one was Christian Eriksen live on television during the Euros; the other was his own father as they played hockey together when he was 15.
But where Peter’s father, Ron, tragically died during the game in 1998, the Danish footballer’s life was saved by medical teams at the scene.
However, the 39-year-old dad of two says this is not something to be mourned, but celebrated.
"When Eriksen collapsed I was with friends and to be honest it touched a bone,” Peter told the Star tearfully. “It was basically identical to what happened to my dad.
“But in the weeks that followed I watched the news and everyone had the tone all wrong. They said how terrible it was.
"He survived – it’s a celebration. He can live his life and spend time with his family.”
Now, the Ecclesall man is on a mission to change the law so that everyone has the chance to go home to their families.
Peter is petitioning the Government to make it law to fund and install defibrillators in all businesses with 10 or more employees, and in all commercial development.
He said: “Everyone has the right to survive a cardiac arrest.
"It can happen to anyone. A long time ago my dad passed away when he was 50 and he was fit, but sadly he had heart failure and died. Christian Ericksen must have had physical after physical and no one realised he was at risk.
“Ericksen had access to top medical teams, of course. We can’t all be 100 yards away from a doctor – but we can all be 100 yards from medical equipment.
"When a business needs to pay £200,000 a year in wages and taxes, and a commercial development will cost millions at a time, what is £1,000 to install a defibrillator?”
Peter’s petition needs 10,000 signatures for the Government to respond to is, and 100,000 to be debated in Parliament.
There are reportedly over 10,000 public defibrillators in the UK – but Peter believes they are largely in affluent areas.
"But we can fix that,” he said. “We can make it so everyone has the opportunity to go home and see their family.”