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Heywood Sports & Fitness in Diss installs community defibrillator following Christian Erisken cardiac arrest at Euro 2020

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A fitness centre has installed a new defibrillator to serve the community, following the near-death of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen.

Heywood Sports & Fitness fitted the life-saving equipment to the entrance of the sports club in Walcott Road in Diss this week, with the life-saving piece of kit accessible to customers and passers-by.

While the defibrillator had been purchased a month ago, staff at the club decided to put it up last Monday – the day after the sporting world was stunned to witness Denmark midfielder Eriksen’s cardiac arrest during the opening weekend of Euro 2020.

Tom Bobbins with the new defibrillator at Heywood Fitness Centre. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Tom Bobbins with the new defibrillator at Heywood Fitness Centre. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Health club manager Tom Bobbins explained how the weekend’s events had put a sharper focus on the importance of having life-saving equipment around.

The 40-year-old, who has run the club for eight and a half years, said: “It was purchased about a month ago – my mum and dad, Ken and Valerie, bought it as a gift.

“As it happens, the situation with Christian Eriksen has just highlighted the importance having a defibrillator around.”

Eriksen, who has now been discharged from hospital, was resuscitated with a defibrillator after collapsing just before half-time on Saturday, June 12, during Denmark’s group-stage tie against Finland.

Sally Hinkley, the marketing manager at the fitness club, stressed the importance of having the equipment on hand.

“Christian Eriksen is 29, there’s a lot of people at the club that are around that age,” she said. “But we also want to make it clear that it will be available for the whole community.

“The defibrillator is important, because it’s much harder to get someone’s heart started manually.

“When someone is starved of oxygen, even three minutes makes a difference,” added Sally, referencing how, without intervention, a lack of blood flow can lead to a worsening brain injury in the event of a cardiac arrest.

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