'Back from dead' to help save lives
FOR several minutes Paul Savill was, by his own admission, "completely dead."
He had just finished his round at a charity day at the Exeter Golf and Country Club and was settling down for lunch when he keeled over.
He had gone into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating. Chest compressions were not bringing him around but then a quick-thinking member of the public dashed to the reception area to grab the defibrillator and the 60-year-old from Heavitree was "jump-started" back to life.
After coming around while at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Mr Savill is now well on the way to making a full recovery.
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And as someone whose life has been saved by a defibrillator Mr Savill has now been given the opportunity to save other lives through a scheme operated by the company Heart Sine and choose a venue to present one to.
Mr Savill has nominated the Isca Indoor Bowling Club in Summer Lane, Whipton, as the recipient and has now handed over the donation in the hope that other lives could be saved.
He said: "I was completely dead and if the golf club did not have a defibrillator I would not be here today.
"I owe my life to it so that was the reason I got to nominate somewhere else to have one.
"The bowling club had one pinched and I had heard about it through a friend of my wife.
"It seemed like the ideaL place and I am delighted to be able to help.
"Most of their members are of the older generation and I think it is vitally important they have this life-saving piece of equipment should someone need it.
"What happened to me really makes you stop and think that if it had not been for that machine I would not be here.
"It can happen to anybody just walking down the street so in a way I am lucky it happened to me where it did.
"It has given me a second chance in life.
"I am still on the mend but hopefully will be back to normal very soon."
The bowling club had already been fundraising to replace the stolen defibrillator when Mr Savill's offer was made. It has now been placed at the Isca Centre, which also hosts bridge, whist, scrabble, bingo and short mat bowling.
A spokesman for the club said: "The clientele groups using the centre and the distance of the facility from the hospital, means a defibrillator is invaluable if a cardiac event was experienced by an individual on the premises.
"We are very grateful to Mr Savill for nominating us as the recipient of his life-saving piece of equipment."