David Reed had never felt fitter just before he slumped to the ground and almost died in front of his sons.
But Mr Reed knows he is only alive today thanks to a defibrillator used by rescuers Joel Wilson and Sharyn Cahill.
The 52-year-old suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on February 1 this year during a rugby union training session on one of UOW’s sportsfields.
”It was obviously a bit of an intense running sprinting sort of session and being a stupid old fool I had to try to keep up with all the young fellas…. and then we were just standing around and that was it. I just collapsed apparently,” Mr Reed said.
“I didn’t really know what happened but obviously it was quite scary for everyone else around me.
“Both my sons were there and my wife came rushing in as well as everyone else at the [Mallee Bulls] rugby club.
He gave me the CPR. I’m very indebted to him.David Reed
“They obviously were a bit concerned and a bit worried and freaked out by the whole thing.”
Some though, like rugby player Joel Wilson were calm, and acted quickly to save Mr Reed’s life.
“He gave me the CPR. I’m very indebted to him,” Mr Reed said.
He also appreciated the role Sharyn Cahill played in saving his life.
“She apparently attached the defibrillator on which jumped me about a foot off the ground and kicked me back into gear so to speak,” Mr Reed said.
The UniActive group exercise coordinator was just happy to be on hand to help.
If we didn’t get that defib on him, he probably wouldn’t be alive today.Sharyn Cahill
“When the guys called I just rushed down and did the best that I could with what I had,” Ms Cahill said.
“The footy guys were a little bit uptight obviously but Joel [Wilson] was very good.
“We remained calm and we had the ambulance on the phone helping us because he was struggling to get oxygen in….if we didn’t get that defib on him, he probably wouldn’t be alive today.”
This was confirmed by Mr Reed’s doctor Brodie Carlon, who reviewed the ECG data from the defibrillator and said if there had not been a defibrillator available, Mr Reed may not have survived.
In celebration of a ‘life saved’, the defibrillator’s manufacturer ‘HeartSine’ has donated a similar lifesaving machine as part of its ‘forward hearts’ program
Mr Reed plans to donate this to his rugby club.
“I probably need two hands to count the number of people who have had heart attacks at a rugby game, be that a player or referee or just someone in the crowd,” he said.
“I think it is imperative every sporting club has a defib.”
This view was shared by Accidental Health and Safety’s Illawarra manager Tony Van Der Weiden, who added all workplaces needed to have a defibrillator on site.