Club staff and customers save snooker player's life after he collapses during match

The Bolton News: Barman Stephen Fisher and manager Sue Stewart with a defibrillator Barman Stephen Fisher and manager Sue Stewart with a defibrillator

A SNOOKER player’s life was saved by two bar workers who used a defibrillator which had been fitted just a week earlier.

The St Mary’s Social and Recreation Club’s snooker team in Horwich were playing a match on Thursday night when one of the visiting players, Les Openshaw, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Stephen Fisher, a bartender at the club in in Bosworth Street, set the defibrillator up with the help of customers and telephoned manager Susan Stewart, who had been trained to use the machine.

Ms Stewart, aged 42, of Arkwright Street, Horwich, said: “It was a very frightening experience. I was sitting at home in my pyjamas when I got the call saying a man had collapsed and I needed to get down there.

“I just told them to get the defibrillator from behind the bar and that it would tell them exactly what to do.

”When I arrived the defibrillator was just starting to deliver shocks so I knew his heart had stopped..

“Then I started doing CPR — I didn’t even hesitate.

“I thought about what I had been taught and just kept on until the ambulance arrived.

“It was terrifying but I was so glad I had done the training — otherwise I don’t think I would have known what to do.”


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Mr Openshaw was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital where he was put into an induced coma. The 86-year-old, who was playing for The Railway Club, in Great Lever, is now understood to be making a recovery in hospital.

Paramedics told Ms Stewart and Mr Fisher that had they not resuscitated the man, he would have died that night at the club.

Mr Fisher, aged 44, from Singleton Avenue in Farnworth, said: “I think your instincts kick in when something like that happens. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous at the time.

“All I could do was try to stay calm as I spoke to the operator and fetched the defibrillator from behind the bar. I dread to think what could have happened had the machine not been fitted eight days before.”

Ms Stewart said that every pub or social club like St Mary’s should have a defibrillator.

She added: “I couldn’t believe it. We’d only had it about a week and I was the only one who had had the training.

“But because it gives such clear instructions, Stephen was able to use it. What an amazing machine. I think every public place should have one.

“And as for Stephen, he was brilliant. Considering he had not done the training, it was amazing what he did. We’re all just hoping the man pulls through.”

David McNally, of North West Ambulance Service, said: “An incident like this emphasises just how important it is to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on hand.

“AEDs are so simple to use and will only deliver a shock to the patient if necessary.”

In February last year, The Bolton News launched its Every School Leaver a Life Saver campaign.

The campaign promotes the teaching of emergency life saving skills in schools and for defibrillators to be placed in as many public places as possible.

Comments (11)

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9:40am Mon 17 Mar 14

oftbewildered2 says...

what a wonderful story - it must have been frightening for the people involved - all the doubts must come to the fore, but this does go to show that even if you are not sure, if you do nothing the outcome could be dire - if you do something, you may well be helping to save someone's life; the machine will not let you get it wrong. Having got it right will serve to give confidence to those who were there, and to others to whom the tale is told. I hope Mr Openshaw makes a good recovery.
what a wonderful story - it must have been frightening for the people involved - all the doubts must come to the fore, but this does go to show that even if you are not sure, if you do nothing the outcome could be dire - if you do something, you may well be helping to save someone's life; the machine will not let you get it wrong. Having got it right will serve to give confidence to those who were there, and to others to whom the tale is told. I hope Mr Openshaw makes a good recovery. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 24

11:29am Mon 17 Mar 14

steveG says...

The worlds a better place for having people like Sue, who take time to learn skills which may one day benefit someone else and Stephen,who showed great presence of mind.
The worlds a better place for having people like Sue, who take time to learn skills which may one day benefit someone else and Stephen,who showed great presence of mind. steveG
  • Score: 17

1:08pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Rememberscarborough says...

Fabrice Muamba's missus is pushing hard to have a defibrillator fitted in every superstore and it's stories like this that proves she's right. Another life saved...
Fabrice Muamba's missus is pushing hard to have a defibrillator fitted in every superstore and it's stories like this that proves she's right. Another life saved... Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 13

1:55pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Back oth Bank Boy says...

well done both of you, we as community very grateful to you both for saving a
life. can somebody please advice me where one can buy this machine and where one can get training.
well done both of you, we as community very grateful to you both for saving a life. can somebody please advice me where one can buy this machine and where one can get training. Back oth Bank Boy
  • Score: 7

2:13pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Wjames89 says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Fabrice Muamba's missus is pushing hard to have a defibrillator fitted in every superstore and it's stories like this that proves she's right. Another life saved...
Thanks to NWAS every ASDA in Greater Manchester should now have one
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Fabrice Muamba's missus is pushing hard to have a defibrillator fitted in every superstore and it's stories like this that proves she's right. Another life saved...[/p][/quote]Thanks to NWAS every ASDA in Greater Manchester should now have one Wjames89
  • Score: 4

3:40pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Wjames89 says...

Back oth Bank Boy wrote:
well done both of you, we as community very grateful to you both for saving a
life. can somebody please advice me where one can buy this machine and where one can get training.
Please email me with you contact details and I will put in touch with the right people to get the training and an AED. will.hughes89@outloo
k.com
[quote][p][bold]Back oth Bank Boy[/bold] wrote: well done both of you, we as community very grateful to you both for saving a life. can somebody please advice me where one can buy this machine and where one can get training.[/p][/quote]Please email me with you contact details and I will put in touch with the right people to get the training and an AED. will.hughes89@outloo k.com Wjames89
  • Score: 4

4:29pm Mon 17 Mar 14

jason leah says...

This is Lesley's grandson,Jason.I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who helped my Grandad in his time of need.It is so important for people to learn how to use a defibrillator and CPR and with this basic training lives can be saved! Thank you all so very,very much from Jason and Family.
This is Lesley's grandson,Jason.I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who helped my Grandad in his time of need.It is so important for people to learn how to use a defibrillator and CPR and with this basic training lives can be saved! Thank you all so very,very much from Jason and Family. jason leah
  • Score: 11

5:17pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Janch1 says...

Well done the two of you! Nice to read an article about the good that people do instead of all the hurt and upset we read about.
Well done the two of you! Nice to read an article about the good that people do instead of all the hurt and upset we read about. Janch1
  • Score: 6

10:01pm Mon 17 Mar 14

keithyno.1 says...

Big respect to Sue...she used to be the landlady of my local, the Green Barn here in Blackrod before it was bought by Darren Miller and turned into 'Barristers.' I always thought that was a rubbish name for a local pub (it might have been OK for a town centre venue), but whatever, the Green Barn/Barristers is no more and is currently being demolished stone by stone to make way for...yes, you've guessed it, yet more apartments!! Another bit of Blackrod history bites the dust. I know Sue did her best with the place when she ran it but was finally defeated by the exorbitant rent charged by Punch Taverns.
Hey, but who needs local pubs anyway, when we can all sit at home glued to Facebook on our iPhones and iPads and Samsung Galaxies, finding out what our friends had for their tea and what they're watching on telly??!!
Big respect to Sue...she used to be the landlady of my local, the Green Barn here in Blackrod before it was bought by Darren Miller and turned into 'Barristers.' I always thought that was a rubbish name for a local pub (it might have been OK for a town centre venue), but whatever, the Green Barn/Barristers is no more and is currently being demolished stone by stone to make way for...yes, you've guessed it, yet more apartments!! Another bit of Blackrod history bites the dust. I know Sue did her best with the place when she ran it but was finally defeated by the exorbitant rent charged by Punch Taverns. Hey, but who needs local pubs anyway, when we can all sit at home glued to Facebook on our iPhones and iPads and Samsung Galaxies, finding out what our friends had for their tea and what they're watching on telly??!! keithyno.1
  • Score: -8

12:15pm Tue 18 Mar 14

adatherton says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Fabrice Muamba's missus is pushing hard to have a defibrillator fitted in every superstore and it's stories like this that proves she's right. Another life saved...
They have one at Tesco Horwich
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Fabrice Muamba's missus is pushing hard to have a defibrillator fitted in every superstore and it's stories like this that proves she's right. Another life saved...[/p][/quote]They have one at Tesco Horwich adatherton
  • Score: -1

12:17pm Tue 18 Mar 14

adatherton says...

keithyno.1 wrote:
Big respect to Sue...she used to be the landlady of my local, the Green Barn here in Blackrod before it was bought by Darren Miller and turned into 'Barristers.' I always thought that was a rubbish name for a local pub (it might have been OK for a town centre venue), but whatever, the Green Barn/Barristers is no more and is currently being demolished stone by stone to make way for...yes, you've guessed it, yet more apartments!! Another bit of Blackrod history bites the dust. I know Sue did her best with the place when she ran it but was finally defeated by the exorbitant rent charged by Punch Taverns.
Hey, but who needs local pubs anyway, when we can all sit at home glued to Facebook on our iPhones and iPads and Samsung Galaxies, finding out what our friends had for their tea and what they're watching on telly??!!
Yep, sad to see Barristers go. Darren was ok, but as you say, everyone stays in. I blame 40p lager, the smoking ban, the betting ban, and Sky's exorbitant pub football prices.
[quote][p][bold]keithyno.1[/bold] wrote: Big respect to Sue...she used to be the landlady of my local, the Green Barn here in Blackrod before it was bought by Darren Miller and turned into 'Barristers.' I always thought that was a rubbish name for a local pub (it might have been OK for a town centre venue), but whatever, the Green Barn/Barristers is no more and is currently being demolished stone by stone to make way for...yes, you've guessed it, yet more apartments!! Another bit of Blackrod history bites the dust. I know Sue did her best with the place when she ran it but was finally defeated by the exorbitant rent charged by Punch Taverns. Hey, but who needs local pubs anyway, when we can all sit at home glued to Facebook on our iPhones and iPads and Samsung Galaxies, finding out what our friends had for their tea and what they're watching on telly??!![/p][/quote]Yep, sad to see Barristers go. Darren was ok, but as you say, everyone stays in. I blame 40p lager, the smoking ban, the betting ban, and Sky's exorbitant pub football prices. adatherton
  • Score: -2

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