Squash player thanks club members and emergency teams who saved his life after cardiac arrest

A SQUASH player who suffered a cardiac arrest has thanked the club members and emergency teams who saved his life.

Picture caption: Alan Bevan from Cardiff has thanked those who saved his life.

Alan Bevan had been playing a game with squash partner Nick Barlow at Rhiwbina Squash Club in Cardiff when the pair decided to have a rest.

They were sat at the side of the court talking to fellow club member Morgan Richards when Alan suddenly collapsed into Nick’s arms.

Morgan quickly dialled 999 and with instructions over the phone from Welsh Ambulance Service call handler Kieran Bason, Nick began to perform CPR.

They were assisted by one of the club’s coaches, Bob Perry, who arrived with a defibrillator.

Bob said: “I’d been in the club doing cleaning and I’d then gone in the bar to have a beer. I’d been in there a couple of minutes when one of the ladies came in saying that someone had collapsed and they needed a defibrillator.

“When we got to where Alan was on the floor immediately behind one of the courts. Nick was trying to resuscitate him and Morgan was on the phone to the emergency services.

“I got the machine out and put the pads on Alan’s chest. The defibrillator tells you what to do so we just followed the instructions. The second time it delivered a shock Alan came round and he shouted out.”

Paramedic Andrew Kiff arrived at the scene in a rapid response vehicle within seven minutes, followed by BASICS Doctor Raymond Monsell, who is trained to provide medical support at the scene of an accident or medical emergency.

They were also supported by ambulance crew members Christine Bigmore and Dominic Tomlinson.

Together they stabilised the 62-year-old’s condition before taking him to the Coronary Care Unit at the University Hospital of Wales.

Paramedic Christine, who has been with the service for 26 years, said: “It was one of those calls that you don’t forget. When we arrived Andrew was already on scene,

“I remember Alan was quite agitated so I cannulated him and gave him pain relief.

“In the ambulance I comforted him and told him that everything was going to be okay. He was very confused about what had happened.”

Alan, who runs a travel agency in Whitchurch, spent several weeks in hospital and underwent a quadruple heart bypass operation to improve the circulation of blood round his heart after falling ill on January 12th.

The father-of-three is now on the road to recovery after being discharged from hospital on February 9th and has thanked everyone who helped him for saving his life.

Alan, who used to play squash twice a week before his cardiac arrest, said: “I was playing a game with Nick. I took a breather, came off with him and sat down on the step on court four. I was talking to him and Morgan and that’s the last thing I remember.

“The first thing I remember after that was having an angiogram done in the hospital, and through a foggy mist the doctor saying to me ‘Your heart’s not damaged, you’re very lucky.’

“Then I had to wait a couple of weeks for my operation and to give my heart time to recover.

“I’m now up and about and walking again and I’m also able to drive. After 12 weeks I’ll be able to start doing more physical activities, not necessarily squash, but we’ll see.

“The paramedics were good and the hospital staff were also fantastic, from the surgeons right down to the cleaners. In the first place it was thanks to Morgan, Nick and Bob that I’m here now.”

Bob, who has undertaken first aid training as part of his squash coaching course, said: “I’ve dealt with medical issues as a first aider, but nothing like that before.

“The doctor came back later and said to tell us from the emergency crew and hospital staff that we delivered a first class response and saved Alan’s life.

“It wasn’t until I was actually going home that it struck me and I got quite emotional.”

Andrew, a Clinical Team Leader based at Blackweir Ambulance Station, said: “I had an e-mail from one of my managers to say that Alan was doing well and wanted to thank us.

“It’s always amazing because you don’t often get to hear when there’s good news, so to hear a success story like that was fantastic.

“The people at the squash club are the unsung heroes. The mixture of their knowledge, their skills and the equipment they had available to them definitely saved the day.”


Calls where a patient is unconscious and has stopped breathing, are categorised as RED under the Welsh Ambulance Service’s new clinical response model, and have a time target of eight minutes.

The Trust is also measured on whether it achieves a return of spontaneous circulation for cardiac arrest patients as part of the Emergency Ambulance Service Committee’s Ambulance Quality Indicators.

In February the service held its annual Defibuary campaign to raise awareness of where to find your nearest defibrillator when someone has a cardiac arrest, and Alan’s story reinforces the importance of knowing their location.

Director of Operations Richard Lee said: “When someone goes into cardiac arrest, early CPR and defibrillation are a crucial part of the chain of survival.

“It’s thanks to the quick-thinking actions of Alan’s friends, our call taker, emergency team and hospital staff that he is here to share his story.”

To find your nearest public access defibrillator please visit http://bit.ly/DefibLocations

Figures released today show there were 1,930 RED emergency incidents in February.

We reached 69% of RED calls within eight minutes, 74.2% within nine minutes and 78.7% within 10 minutes.

You can view the data in full by visiting Welsh Government’s StatsWales website.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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