A man who ‘died twice’ after suffering a heart attack at a football match has met and thanked the two people who brought him back to life.
Dave Ince also emphasised how vital it was that a defibrillator was on-site and quickly available after he collapsed last September 29 just before the game between Haverhill Borough and Haverhill Rovers, which then had to be abandoned.
Mr Ince returned to The New Croft last Friday evening where he met his two saviours, Borough player Tommy Hardwick and Rovers welfare officer Lisa Shulver, after the rescheduled match (which Borough won 3-2; see pages 36 and 37 for the full match report).
Mr Ince, 60, who admitted that he can ‘remember nothing at all’ of the incident, said: “Apparently I died twice, but the great thing is that they had the right equipment there and you had Lisa and Tommy there who had training in how to use it.”
The original match was just minutes away from starting when Mr Ince, of Crowland Road, Haverhill, collapsed.
Tommy, 23, is a retained firefighter with full first aid training and was quickly at Mr Ince’s side to offer his assistance and begin applying CPR.
Mrs Shulver, who is a trained nurse but on the night was working as a volunteer in the refreshments hut, soon joined Tommy, who was a substitute for the match and therefore still out on the pitch, whereas the starting XIs were back in the changing rooms.
The duo continued treating Mr Ince before Mrs Shulver used the facility’s defibrillator to shock his heart back to life.
A Community First Responder and then an East Anglian Air Ambulance helicopter crew arrived to continue treating Mr Ince before he was flown to Norwich Hospital.
Mr Ince, who had a stent fitted at the hospital and was back home the following Wednesday, was invited to the match by Haverhill Borough, allowing him the chance to meet Tommy and Lisa.
Mr Ince said: “I wanted to thank them anyway. I was going to wait a bit until after my operation but It was a good time to go up there and meet them and thank them.”
Mr Ince, a former player with Haverhill Cricket Club and Babraham Cricket Club, who only stopped playing the game five years ago, is now waiting for a date to have a heart bypass operation after the stent he had fitted began narrowing.