Tom Lockyer calls for people to learn CPR following cardiac arrest

Cymru defender Tom Lockyer has urged people to learn CPR with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match.

The 29-year-old collapsed during a game for Luton Town against Bournemouth on 16 December last year, with bystanders and club medics rushing to perform CPR and provide early defibrillation.

The Cymru international said it was thanks to these quick actions that his life was saved and is now backing the BHF’s campaign to get the nation to learn CPR this Heart Month, as well as raise funds for lifesaving research.

Around 2,800 people suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in Wales. Tragically, just one in twenty people survive, often because those around them don’t have the confidence to perform CPR or use a defibrillator.

Tom, who is about to become a dad for the first time, said if everyone affected by his story learned CPR then more people would have a better chance of survival. The BHF estimates that as many as 800,000 adults in Wales have never learned these lifesaving skills.

“I’m an example of the power of CPR, and how it can save lives. I’m so grateful to the people who saved my life, and that I can have special moments with my family like our baby coming very soon,” he said.

“On that day in December, I remember jogging up to the halfway line and becoming lightheaded. I then woke up from a nothingness on the floor and I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak. Eventually I was able to move and speak. Without the people who reacted quickly by performing CPR and using a defibrillator, I wouldn’t be here today and waiting for my little girl to come into the world.”

Tom spent five days in hospital and had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device fitted.

“I have so much to be thankful for. I have my health which is the main thing and I’m really looking forward to the future. If there’s a chance I could be back playing then I would love to,” he added.

Lockyer urged people across the UK to learn CPR to help save a life in the ultimate medical emergency.

“This Heart Month, I’m calling on everyone to learn CPR with the BHF’s RevivR training tool,” he said.

“It takes just 15 minutes and you could learn how to potentially save a life. With at least five people in the UK suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every 90 minutes, learning lifesaving CPR can give you the confidence to step in during an emergency.”

The BHF’s free online training tool RevivR can teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator in just 15 minutes. Quick CPR and defibrillation can more the double the chances of survival in the ultimate medical emergency.

Last September the Cymru Men’s team players and staff spent time with the FAW’s Medical Tutors to learn lifesaving CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and defibrillator training.

FAW training courses on CPR and defibrillator training are supported by Save a Life Cymru (SaLC), the NHS Wales organisation to improve cardiac arrest survival.

Free training courses on CPR and defibrillator training have been offered to all clubs, leagues, and area associations in Wales. Club secretaries, coaches and first aiders have been contacted through the COMET system and are encouraged to take up the opportunity.

To refresh your skills or to get some basic awareness CPR and defibrillation training visit the Save a Life Cymru website (Cymraeg or English).

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