Top Story

PGA assistant Pro is a life-saver

An assistant PGA professional at Nuneaton Golf Club helped save the life of a club member after he had collapsed on the course. Nigel Randle performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after a defibrillator was used to revive Alan Morris who lay lifeless on the ninth green at the Warwickshire club.

Another club member Dr Alan Gummery, who happened to be teeing off on the nearby opening hole, initially tended Morris while Randle and the club’s bar manager Alan Read performed CPR on the stricken golfer.

Ambulance paramedics later confirmed Morris had died for two-and-a-half minutes until the combination of the life-saving device and CPR jolted his heart back into life. Randle, who has just finished his second year on the PGA training programme, admitted it had been a pretty surreal experience.

“It was about 1pm and a guy came in and said could he borrow a buggy as there had been a bit of an accident with one of the members,” said Randle. “The ninth green is only 50 or 60 yards from the clubhouse so I sprinted over and I could see quite a few people crowded around Alan.

“Luckily Dr Gummery was one of them and as I got there, the defib shocked him and I started to do compressions – 30 compressions and then two breaths. By this time the ambulance was on its way but we kept on with the procedure. I looked into his eyes and there was nothing – he was 100 per cent dead and there was no response.

“Eventually the ambulance arrived, they gave him oxygen took over. We since discovered that Alan was dead for two-and-a-half minutes so the defib certainly saved his life. Afterwards I shut the shop for half an hour and me and Alan the bar manager went and had a half pint and we chinked glasses. We just looked at each and couldn’t speak initially, then I said, ‘I can’t believe what just happened.’ Even now, a few weeks later, I still can’t believe that we managed to save him.”

Randle was looking after the club in absence of head PGA Professional Craig Phillips who was refereeing at the US PGA Championship.

“When Craig came back from America he said ‘have I missed anything?!’“It’s funny, I’ve had holes in ones, won competitions, shot great scores but nothing that I’ve done on a golf course will top that  – to actually save someone’s life. Alan has since been back to the club and shaken our hands and thanked us for saving his life. He’s now had a tiny defib fitted in his left shoulder.”

Following the incident the club has also purchased a second defibrillator to keep out on the course for the greenkeeping staff. “Every year about six of us do the defib training course and as we’ve seen in Alan’s case, defibs do save lives,” added Randle.

The picture shows Nigel Randle and Alan Morris. 

To find out more about defibrillators see www.defibssavelives.org