Heart attack survivor campaigns for defibrillators at sporting fields

A month after a heart attack during a hockey game, Tamworth’s Mark Hooper is back on the field and scoring goals — and very happy to be there. He will never forget what started as a typical Saturday afternoon four weeks ago.

The match was not going well, but a pep talk from the coach at half-time had everyone keen to get back on and turn a 2-0 deficit into a win. It worked and the team was 4-2 ahead when Mr Hooper was subbed off. Seconds later, in the sideline dugout, Mr Hooper recalls reaching for a drink and instead, hitting the ground.

The 39-year-old said he had no way to describe the incredible amount of luck that was with him that day. Not only were there four people close at hand to begin CPR immediately, but the hockey club owned a defibrillator.

“The stars aligned, that’s all I can say,” Mr Hooper said.

SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST IN THE WORKPLACE – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Imagine a Monday morning like any other… You walk into the office and make yourself a cup a coffee whilst catching up with your team about the weekend. All of a sudden, you hear the violent sound of a cup smashing and see one of your employees fall to the ground – unconscious, not breathing, with no pulse.

What would you do?

If the answer is “I don’t know,” the tragic reality is that without immediate CPR and a shock from a defibrillator (or ‘defib’), that person – your employee – would likely die within minutes.

As an employer, you’re responsible for the health and safety of your employees, but in order to be fully prepared you must first understand the number one risk facing Australia today – sudden cardiac arrest.