A pre-season defibrillator training session turned into a life-saver at Glangwynrey during the weekend when a cricketer collapsed during the first game of the season.
Mark Waldeck, 51 was acting as wicket keeper for the game against Porth CC when he became unwell.
Fellow players became concerned when he failed to get up after diving for a ball, believing that he had been injured.
They soon discovered however that the situation was more serious and that he was dangerously ill.
They immediately began emergency first aid and sent for the defibrillator, which had only been installed in the club three weeks earlier.
Team-mate Geoff Holmes described his shock saying: “We had a club night not three weeks before the incident, where fifteen to twenty of us learnt basic first aid and how to use the defibrillator.
“No one could imagine that we’d be putting what we learnt into practice so quickly.”
AS his team mates fought to keep him alive, Mr Waldeck’s condition rapidly deteriorated to the point where he stopped breathing completely.
In a combined effort, players from both sides followed the instructions of the defibrillator–whilst also being advised by a medical team over the phone–and proceeded to shock Mr Waldeck.
Although he did not gain consciousness immediately, after another shock, Mr Waldeck started breathing again.
He eventually came around, with no memory of what had happened.
All of this occurred within ten minutes.
Everyone worked to keep Mr Waldeck as comfortable as possible as they waited for an ambulance. The operators continued to stay on the line, before paramedics and ambulance arrived an hour after they were called.
“When he realised where he was and what might have happened, he said that he came round thinking he was surrounded by angels in white but then realised it was just a load of grubby cricketers,” said a fellow player.
Before the incident, players had paid tribute to the former captain of the opposition team, Mark Lang.
Mr Lang, 54, from Cardiff, died last month from critical injuries after being hit and dragged under his delivery van.
Mr Waldeck was taken to The Grange Hospital, where he was treated. A spokesperson for the Club has confirmed that he is stable and has since been moved to Cardiff, waiting for further treatment.
Mr Holmes of Glangrwyney Cricket Club said: “The Club are staying in contact, supporting his recovery and offer him well wishes. We would like to thank Porth Cricket Club for all their help–everyone chipped in and it was a real team effort.
“The club are keen to push all sports clubs who do not have access to a defibrillator to consider getting one. We are looking to get a second portable one to take to our away games. You never know when you will need one and it could very much save someone’s life.
“The decision to get one in the first place was due to multiple incidents across South Wales where cricketers collapsed… some not as lucky as Mark.”