Foxes legends join forces with Joe’s Trust (JHMT) to help tackle SADS
Posted: Fri, 19 Oct 2018
Steve and Muzzy – who run the Advanced Football Development Academy (AFDA), in Whetsone – have taken on responsibility for looking after a defibrillator previously housed in a medical room at the neighbouring Blaby Whetstone Boys Club, positioning it in a new site that means it's now accessible to the public 24/7.
Steve and Muzzy have also arranged for vital lifesaving training for club members. The Joe's Mini HeartStart For Sports Club training – which will cover cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use a defibrillator, is being provided for free to all sports clubs and led by JHMT's lead trainer Alan Harrison White. Steve Walsh said: "We've taken responsibility for looking after the defib in its new position, where it will be available to the whole community.
"It's now situated right outside the reception at our club. The JHMT generously provided an external box to help us keep the defibrillator safe, and we have a sponsor – Ian Coltman from local business Mint Manufacturing – who has kindly donated £250 towards the upkeep of the defib, to help pay for things like replacement pads and battery, which are needed every few years.
"After seeing what happened to young Joe Humphries and Alan Birchenall, Muzzy Izzet and I both decided that this could be a lifesaver for the whole community. While we hope we'll never have to use our defibrillator, it shows our commitment to heartsafe sports."
Training sessions with the JHMT are planned with all of AFDA's 51 students, aged 16-18, plus their five members of staff.
Chair of the JHMT Steve Humphries said: "Steve and Muzzy are of course great ambassadors for football, so having them on board as a heartsafe club is great news – hopefully this will encourage even more sports clubs and groups to follow the same path. Teamwork and a planned approach to being ready in case of a cardiac emergency is crucial."
Charles Poole from the JHMT added: "Wherever sport is played, a defibrillator should be on site and readily accessible. When every second counts, it could be the difference between life and death. Immediate CPR is crucial whilst the defibrillator is brought to the patient and it's also vital that as many people as possible have CPR skills, including players, officials and spectators as they may be the closest to where someone has collapsed."
The JHMT recently held its awareness-raising SADS week, to spread the message that sudden heart deaths like sudden arrhythmic death syndrome – SADS – are preventable, not inevitable.
A cardiac emergency can happen to anyone of any age, including seemingly fit and healthy young people taking part in physical activity. The physical exertion of sport can sometimes trigger underlying heart conditions like SADS.
At least 12 young people aged 12-35 die in the UK each week from undiagnosed heart conditions like SADS.
For anyone wanting to find out how to take steps to creating a heartsafe sports club, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org marked for the attention of Charles Poole.