Is your sports club prepared to save someone’s life?

How an ordinary netball match in 2014 ended in heartbreak…

Twenty-seven year old Beth Leske was playing a typical game of netball with her team, Fairy Meadow, in Berkeley, Wollongong when she suddenly slumped to the ground.

The young mother had shown no signs of being unwell and despite attempts to revive her, she died in hospital. Paramedics confirmed that she had suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Unfortunately, Beth’s story is not uncommon in Australia. Thousands of people don’t realise that they may have a condition that can cause Sudden Cardiac Arrest. In many cases, the first symptom of this disease is death.

Why defibrillators are essential for sports clubs

In 2017, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in Australia. With more than 33,000 Australians experiencing an out of hospital SCA every year, many falling victim at sports clubs, it’s important to seek ways to look after your community and prevent unexpected deaths.

If you think that SCA is just something that happens to older people or people with pre-existing symptoms, you’re likely one of the lucky few who hasn’t had their life shaken by Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The chance of surviving a Sudden Cardiac Arrest without intervention is less than 10%. However, that chance increases to 70% if defibrillation is administered within the first five minutes of the incident.

Claud Beck – the defibrillator creator

Heart attack, or cardiac arrest, became a leading cause of death after the turn of the century. People had always suffered from cardiac problems, but they usually died from other causes, especially infectious diseases, long before reaching the age when heart problems threatened their well being.

As medicine advanced and people lived longer, heart disease became a serious health issue. Claude Beck (1894-1971) pioneered heart surgery, especially operations to improve circulation in damaged heart muscles. He also devised ways to revive heart attack victims, including the defibrillator and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) techniques.

Beck’s defibrillation technique and device served as a prototype for the development of modern defibrillators. A modern day Automatic External Defibrillators are amazing pieces of technology within the size of shoe box – without the use of an AED, the heart simply will not restart.

These amazing minds crafted this invention not so long ago – to treat a problem that effects tens of thousands of us each year.

Hats off to you Claude, simply remarkable.

Don’t wait til its too late – purchase a defibrillator now.



Riddells Creek couple catch up with ‘magnificent’ paramedics who saved man’s life

“This is a story of when help did arrive on time. The gentlemen had CPR  performed on him – the oxygenated blood was continuing its circulation to keep vital organs alive until defibrillation could occur – as that is the only thing that re-starts the heart. It’s a great story of survival, and it was the Ambos from my home town – read on!”

Andrew White 2

Andrew White, Director Defib For Life (Former MICA Paramedic)  

Riddells Creek Couple

What a birthday present to receive!

Defib for Life received a call from the Macedon Ranges Council recently and they advised that on Monday 27th February (a day after what would have been Stephens 26th birthday) the AED at the Riddell’s Creek Leisure Centre was used at 11pm during a Volley Ball game. The lads were out playing their regular game with their mates – playing a game that they loved. But for John, this night was to change his life. Reasonably healthy, no sign of any heart condition, he collapsed on court – he had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

An off duty policeman jumped in as a lay person, a first responder at the scene the moment the patient collapsed, started performing CPR, and called for the AED which was installed at the Centre. Without re-starting the heart, John would not have been revived; the only thing that re-starts the heart, is an AED.

On Friday 3rd March Sue Buckman, Director of Defib For Life went to the Royal Melbourne Hospital to retrieve the AED unit to replace the pads and return it to the Riddell’s Creek Leisure Centre. Sue got to meet the survivor, John to pass on our best wishes for his speedy recovery.

St Ives Football Club tribute match

About 12 months ago Defib For Life was chatting to a very energetic and inspired committee member of the St Ives FC in western Sydney. There are many of you out there, the Mums and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Grandma’s and Grandpa’s who spend hours at their kitchen tables, out on the weekends, pick ups and drop offs to help make local sporting clubs work. This time Penny Howell, former St Ives FC President, was on a mission to right a wrong. Because the club did not have a defibrillator on hand, they lost one of the seniors league players to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, because help was too far away.

“We are raising funds to purchase a number of AED’s for the Club and all its teams to ensure that when games are being played here, or teams are away, we will always be protected.”

Sue Buckman (Defib For Life Director) and Melissa Dunbar (Defib For Life Marketing and Communications) went to Sydney to support their fundraising activity for the weekend. They raised enough money for one unit and set off on their path to raise the rest.

The story below is about how they continue to raise awareness and funds, however the best news is that one of those units was used recently on a player – who is alive!!

Garfield Golf Club were rescue ready – are you?

Well, looks like 2017 could be the year!!!! Get ready to read on – this is the reason we get up and go to work each day, to deal with phone calls like this….please read on.

I have just spoken to the Garfield Golf Club in Victoria. They used their Cardiac Science G3 over a weekend during January….. and it was a success!!!!!  They are not sure of the age of the man, but he is believed to be in mid to late 50’s and was doing what many do when they come to the Club, enjoying a leisurely round of Golf.

The man simply collapsed; a member of the Club staff quickly ran to grab the AED from their front office and without hesitation opened the lid, followed the instruction and used the training that he remembered. The AED shocked the male, whilst the Ambulance was on the way; this was crucial. Ambulance Officers arrived, stabilised him and then transferred him to hospital.


News ALERT……….Just received a call from an RSL Club in Caulfield, they used their AED on a 52 year old male. He was taken to the Alfred Hospital and is recovering.

The Cardiac Science G5 has the inbuilt technology where the crucial data recorded during the life saving use can then be downloaded on a USB for the medical staff, who then use to more accurately continue their great work, getting patient back to good health more quickly.

The Ambo’s took the AED with them to the Alfred, to have the rescue data downloaded. The chap from the RSL rang me concerned however that they now have no AED and what if something else was to happen.

Chance encounter saves life on Serendipity Drive

Di Wilfschefski was walking on Serendipity Drive with a friend when she was struck down by a cardiac arrest. Although only 5 per cent survive a cardiac arrest in Australia, Di is still alive thanks to a series of fortunate events including some nurses being in the area, and a local Bendigo Bank having a community defibrillator.

“Di just called my name and grabbed her chest and collapsed, it was that quick,” Ms Ledden said. But Ms Wilschefski, 61, felt certain someone was watching over her that day.

View her remarkable story and the series of events that followed.

Saving lives on the sports field

The enormous growth in grass roots ‘masters’ sports is a healthy development for aging players but it also means more people may be at risk of having a heart attack while playing.

Three guests who’ve all been touched by tragedy of this kind are part of a campaign to save lives.

They want defibrillators in all local sports clubs.

Listen now to their stories.