- Walking Football participant Bill Greaves suffered a heart attack at a St Margaret’s Pastures session before Christmas
- Since the incident, Bill has lost over three stone and feels 'fitter now then he was before'
- Leicester City in the Community coach Adam Martin highlights the importance of defibrillators and CPR
- St Margaret’s Pastures and Leicester City in the Community staff have been praised for their efforts during the incident
The quick actions of several people at a St Margaret’s Pastures Walking Football session helped save a participant’s life. Bill Greaves suffered a heart attack while playing his beloved sport before Christmas and, from that moment, it took only a few minutes for paramedics to arrive on scene.
He was then rushed to Glenfield Hospital, where he would end up staying for 16 days due to contracting COVID-19 alongside his heart attack.
Thankfully, Bill made a full recovery and, after a Zoom call with Leicester City legend Ali Mauchlen and his friends to check up on him, an emotional and grateful Bill said: “I am getting on very well after my heart attack.
“I spoke to my consultant about playing walking football again, and they said: ‘I don’t see why not’. So I will give Walking Football a go and will go even if I don’t play.
“Apparently, the other players will give me a cavalcade-style guard of honour – I hope they don’t drop the swords!
“I am driving again and feel like things are getting back to normal. People say I look better now than I did before my heart attack.”
Since returning to his home, Bill has managed to change his lifestyle with plenty of daily exercise and a better diet, which has seen him drop three stone.
I have got to find all the people I have to thank about this. When it first happened, it took seven minutes from the first moment for the ambulance to get there. It makes you think because any other day, I would have been at home, there’s more names coming through now of who has done what. I have Adam [Martin], Paul [Kinsley] Rebecca [Pawley] and Steph [Hale] to thank.Bill Greaves
Thinking back to the event, Bill is unable to recall the events that transpired, but he is aware of who to be thankful for.
“I can’t remember anything (from the event)," Bill said. “I am having to rely on what people have told me.
“I remember waking up thinking ’where am I?' I have got to find all the people I have to thank about this. When it first happened, it took seven minutes from the first moment for the ambulance to get there.
“It makes you think because any other day, I would have been at home, there’s more names coming through now of who has done what. I have Adam [Martin], Paul [Kinsley] Rebecca [Pawley] and Steph [Hale] to thank.
“For me, who lives on their own, MatchFit has brought a new outlook to my life. I would go to King Power Stadium for Then, Now and Forever, we have been on a few trips and I look forward to doing it again."
Someone who does recall the events is Leicester City in the Community Health and Wellbeing Coach, Adam Martin. Adam, who was helping staff run the St Margaret’s Pastures sessions, was one of the first to respond to Bill, by administering CPR.
“When I got to him at first, he was still breathing. Then, within about two or three seconds, I could tell he had stopped breathing.
“I yelled for someone to call an ambulance and told them that the patient isn’t breathing. Then, we started CPR on him, and a minute or so later somebody came out with a defibrillator and shocked him once and he came straight back.
“Everyone was fantastic really; everyone did their bit really. It was a general good all-round effort."
Leicester City in the Community work with the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust to deliver vital CPR teaching workshops to young people across Leicestershire. For Adam, he feels that knowledge of CPR and access to defibrillators plays a significant part in helping someone who collapses to survive.
He doesn’t need to thank me, it is just something you do. It will be nice to see him and see him out playing football again and having a laugh with the other participants.Adam Martin
Adam added: “I don’t think I did a lot, it shows the importance of having that initial training of how to do CPR, because you have got to do something.
“The main thing I take from it all is just the importance of having defibrillators. I think they should be at all venues, all sports venues, schools, parks, they should be dotted around areas.
“CPR should be taught in schools and it should be mandatory in all football clubs to have someone to be able to perform it and it gives the patient a chance of survival. I never thought that I would ever have to do it, but it was a very surreal experience."
Bill previously mentioned he would like to thank Adam and those involved for their heroic efforts.
Subsequently, those who played a key role - participant Paul Kinsley, Leicester City in the Community's Rebecca Pawley and Adam Martin, as well as St Margaret’s Pastures’ Steph Hale, have all been recognised for their efforts by Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, OBE.
“He doesn’t need to thank me, it is just something you do,” said Adam. “It will be nice to see him and see him out playing football again and having a laugh with the other participants.
“I am glad it happened where it did, it could have happened on his own somewhere, people were there to help him. It will be nice to say hello to him again and I am pleased to hear he has lost weight and, in a way, it was a godsend really."
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