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Our own Clare Bailey lines up with football legends to launch live-saving CPR campaign

24 May 2024

Club News

Our own Clare Bailey lines up with football legends to launch live-saving CPR campaign

24 May 2024

Our very own Clare Bailey lined-up alongside legendary football names to help launch a new campaign from Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation with the aim of teaching life-saving CPR skills to more than a quarter of a million people.

Box Office staff member Clare suffered a cardiac arrest last year with medical personnel at Doncaster Royal Infirmary saving her life. She spent two weeks in a coma and underwent an urgent heart transplant in Manchester.

Clare has since returned to work at the club as her recovery continues.

And she used her experience to help emphasise the importance of learning CPR as part of the new campaign - Every Minute Matters.

“I’ve always been fit and healthy,” Clare said. “In July last year I did a charity football match and I found it unusual that I was getting out of breath while playing sport so I went to see my GP. I was sent to Doncaster Royal Infirmary for further tests.

“I was going down the corridor in the hospital and I had a cardiac arrest. I must have had a whole team around me trying to save me but it ended up that I was critically ill.

“I was in a coma for two weeks and put on a BiVAD machine. When I came around it turned out I needed a heart transplant. I had the transplant on September 21.

“My family have been in bits. They nearly lost me and they were getting ready to say goodbye to me. When you hear that, it’s woah, because you don’t realise how poorly you were until people tell you.

“I don’t think I had time to be scared because you never expect it to happen to you. It just shows that it can happen to anyone. It’s vital that everyone learns CPR to help.

“It takes 15 minutes to learn CPR. I urge anyone who hasn’t done it to do it. It could save lives.”

Joining former international footballers Graeme Souness, David Ginola and Glenn Hoddle at Wembley Stadium, Clare was one of several supporters at the launch event to tell their stories.

Fabrice Muamba, Tom Lockyer and Charlie Wyke - who all suffered cardiac arrests on the pitch - were present as part of the ‘Re-Starting 11’ which also included individuals who have administered life-saving CPR.

Every Minute Matters aims to recruit 270,000 people – the equivalent of three Wembley’s – to learn lifesaving CPR over the next 12 months.

And Sky Bet is pledging to donate up to £3 million to support the vital work of Britain’s biggest heart charity, starting with £10,000 for every goal scored during normal and extra time during the Sky Bet Play-Offs.

Souness, who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease in his early 30s, said: “CPR saves lives – and you only have to look at our Re-Starting 11 to see that. It’s a privilege to join a team of inspiring people, many who are only here today thanks to CPR, as we stand with Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation to call on the nation to take action.

“Every day, more than 80 people will suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK – and that’s why we need more people to learn CPR through RevivR.

“Together we can equip thousands more fans with the knowledge and confidence to perform these lifesaving skills, because in the crucial moments following a cardiac arrest every minute really does matter.”

Lockyer, who collapsed during last year’s Sky Bet Championship Play-Off final and survived a cardiac arrest in December, added: “I was lucky that in the moment when my heart stopped, those nearby knew the skills to save my life.

“Without the prompt actions of medical staff who gave me CPR and defibrillation, I simply wouldn’t be here today – and I’m forever grateful for that.

“That’s why I’m joining the Re-Starting 11 as we call for more football fans to learn CPR. If every fan in every club took 15 minutes to learn CPR with RevivR, it could help save thousands of lives.”

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, equating to at least five every 90 minutes. Each minute that passes without CPR reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent.

And tragically, less than one in ten people survive often because those around them lack the skills or confidence to perform CPR.

Every Minute Matters will urge everyone to take just 15 minutes – the length of the half-time interval – to learn CPR with RevivR, the BHF’s free and easy to use digital tool.

The ‘Re-Starting 11’ will play a vital role throughout the Sky Bet Play-Offs by raising awareness, providing insight into their own experience and delivering hands on practical support to help the public learn CPR.

Although many of us will witness a cardiac arrest in our lifetime, the BHF estimates that around 23 million UK adults have never learnt the lifesaving skill of CPR. The BHF’s free, interactive online training course, RevivR, can teach anyone how to save a life in 15 minutes.

The simple course requires no medical experience and can be completed with just a mobile phone and a cushion to practice on. After completing the training, 97 per cent of users feel confident enough to give CPR and use a defibrillator.

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