Sheffield community launches defibrillator campaign after social club manager saves heart attack men

A Sheffield community is trying to raise £3,500 for two defibrillators after being inspired by a social club manager's lifesaving heroics.

Friday, 13th May 2016, 3:37 pm
Updated Friday, 13th May 2016, 5:15 pm
Crookes WMC manager Maurice Champeau who has helped raise £2,500 for a defribrillator after two men suffered heart attcks in the club in four days

People in Crookes rallied round to whip up the money after two men suffered heart attacks at Crookes Social Club in the space of four days at the end of March.

They leapt into action after hearing that the club’s general manager Maurice Champeau had, with the help of club members, saved both the mens’ lives.

Maurice was chairing a regular meeting at the club on Mulehouse Road when he was told someone had collapsed in the snooker room. He rushed to help the man and with two snooker players took turns giving life-saving CPR and clearing the man’s airways.

The 47-year-old, who had a heart attack himself earlier this year, said: “He had no pulse, he wasn’t breathing – he completely flatlined. We realised our own shortfalls very, very quickly.”

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A nurse who happened to be in a dance class in the next room noticed the commotion and also came to the man’s aid.

They had to keep giving first aid for half an hour because the first two emergency vehicles that arrived did not carry a defibrillator. It was only when an ambulance arrived that paramedics were able to get the man’s heart beating again.

“A customer of ours is a heart surgeon and he said his chances of survival were 10,000/1,” said Maurice.

Then, only four days later, another man suffered a heart attack in the club while having a drink one evening, and once again Maurice had to give CPR.

The first man had to spend six weeks in hospital and suffered minor brain damage, but is recovering. The second man’s heart restarted a couple of minutes later and he was discharged from hospital after two days.

Maurice added: “It was absolutely shocking, I’ve been here for two-and-a-half years now and we’ve had no incident like that, and then to have two within four days of each other was a complete shock.

“It’s important to me because I had a heart attack eight months ago. Because of that it’s sort of hit me, what happens if I’m the next one to keel over? Because I can’t give myself CPR.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I saved anybody’s life. I did what I had to do, somebody else would have done it if I wasn’t there.

“But had we had the right equipment available it would have been a lot easier and certainly the guy wouldn’t have spent six weeks in hospital.”

When the news spread around Crookes, the community decided to raise £3,500 to buy two defibrillators. One would be kept in the club and the other would be placed on the outside of a public building.

The campaign began on April 30 when 25 people took part in a 120ft high abseil at Miller’s Dale viaduct, just outside Buxton. All but one had never abseiled before, and between them they raised £2,500.

The rest of the money is being raised through collection buckets, a raffle, and a potential grant from the local council.

Crookes city councillor Anne Murphy said: “I think this is a worthwhile initiative to fund. It will also benefit the whole community and as a local councillor I have a responsibility to support good local causes.”

To donate to the appeal, visit Crookes Social Club in Mulehouse Road.