Newport County shows its heart
Newport County AFC and its community has been equipped with a life-saving new defibrillator, with the help of The Football Association (FA) and British Heart Foundation (BHF) Cymru.
In a unique partnership between BHF and The FA, more than 900 defibrillators have been made available throughout the UK to clubs at Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System (County took up the opportunity when they were still members of the Football Conference) and clubs in the Women’s Super League to help save the lives of cardiac arrest casualties.
Newport County FC is the latest club to install a defibrillator, giving players, staff and fans access to the equipment needed to save lives in their community. The club was also given information about Hands-only CPR, which was made famous for the BHF by football legend Vinnie Jones .
Two-thirds of the cost of the defibrillator was provided to the club by The FA and BHF.
Dave Boddy said: “This vital piece of equipment could prove to be difference between life and death and it’s a welcome addition to this club, Rodney Parade and its community.
“The FA and BHF have made it possible for Newport County FC to be part of the drive to improve the UK’s poor cardiac arrest survival rates. Along with CPR, a defibrillator is a vital link in the chain of survival and we’re lucky that we now have the skills and equipment at the club to save a life.”
The defibrillator will be formally presented to Newport County FC by a very special local boy, Ben Campling aged 4 at a friendly match on July 26th between Newport County FC and the German Club FC Carl Zeiss Jena. The two clubs struck up a special bond in 1980 when they met in the quarter finals of the European Cup and although the match was drawn 2-2 on the away leg, it was lost on the home leg.
Ben Campling will be presenting the defibrillator to the club on behalf of BHF Cymru. When Ben was only a baby he looked ill and was constantly screaming in pain. Unknown to his parents, Andy and Helen, Ben had a rare heart condition called cor-triatrium in which a membrane had grown over the left side of his heart inhibiting growth and causing the right side to work harder and subsequently to become enlarged. It took over two years for his condition to be diagnosed and once it had been Ben underwent surgery to correct the problem. Ben now enjoys a healthy life and does not require any further operations.
Awareness around sudden cardiac arrests was heightened when former England Under-21 star Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in the Tottenham Hotspur versus Bolton Wanderers FA Cup tie on March 17 last year. Muamba’s story is even more remarkable as only around 1 in 5 people normally survive a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.
A defibrillator, also known as an Automated External Defibrillator or AED, gives the heart a controlled electrical shock during cardiac arrest.
For every minute that passes without CPR of defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by about 10 per cent. Research shows giving CPR and a controlled shock within five minutes of collapse provides the best possible chance of survival if CPR has been carried out as well.
The British Heart Foundation across the UK has already helped place 11,000 defibrillators in the community since 1996. Since the charity launched Hands-only CPR last year, more than 30 lives have been saved by the technique.
Clubs can find information about the application process by visiting www.bhf.org.uk/football.