Perton golfer ‘eternally grateful’ to life savers


Tuesday 13th May 2014 – 12.10pm – Claire Brown.

A golfer who collapsed on the 6th tee at South Staffordshire Golf Club in Wolverhampton was reunited with his life savers last week.

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers director, 64 year old Kevin Threlfall from Perton, was playing in a golf competition at the club on April 24th when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Fellow golfers and former policemen, Steve Woodward and Martin Knowles, quickly sprang into action. Martin, Captain of Moseley Golf club, was playing against Kevin in the competition and said: “It was like a Resus Annie training scenario. The first thing I remember was asking Kevin if he was alright, there was no response so we called for help. Steve and I just followed exactly what we’re trained to do in the police. We put him in the recovery position, checked his pulse, breathing and when we found he had neither we started compressions.”

Whilst Steve and Martin did CPR, Golf Club Official Ian Guest raced to the club house to fetch their automated external defibrillator (AED) which had never been used before. Two ambulances, two paramedics and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a MERIT trauma doctor on board rushed to the golf club.

Wolverhampton based Advanced Paramedic Andy Watson, 49 from Perton, was first on scene within six minutes and said: “All in all, we worked on Kevin for about 45 minutes on the tee. He had a total of nine defibrillator shocks and various other emergency interventions before we managed to get some respiratory effort from Kevin. If Steve and Martin hadn’t of started CPR when they did, we wouldn’t have had such a fantastic outcome.

“I’ve worked for the ambulance service for 12 years and Kevin is the first cardiac arrest patient I’ve had that has survived and left hospital to carry on to live a normal life. I’ve got loads of patients back but they’ve never walked out of hospital and it’s been because there’s been no CPR on scene prior to the ambulance service arriving. We can get the heart going but, that’s not the problem. If the brain has been starved of oxygen for any amount of time, it’s not good. It’s so vital that CPR is started within minutes of someone suffering a cardiac arrest as it literally can make a difference to whether someone lives or dies.”

Kevin’s wife, Gill, rushed to the club after hearing the news. She said: “I got to the hole to see Kevin lying there. The first thing I heard was ‘I think it’s time to stop now’. The ambulance staff had been working on him for ages but he hadn’t taken a breath for quite some time. I thought he’d died but then the next thing, seconds later, one of them said ‘no he’s just taken a breath so keep on going’.”

Though breathing, Kevin was in a critical condition. En route to New Cross Hospital ambulance staff battled to keep him alive. Gill and the family were told to expect the worst by doctors at hospital.

Gill continued: “The next morning I had a call from the hospital to say that Kevin was sitting up and talking and he hasn’t stopped since! I cannot believe he’s back to normal, the whole thing feels like a dream.”

Kevin was on critical care for several days and after having surgery to fit an internal defibrillator, he was discharged from hospital and is recovering well at home.

Kevin said: “There were three miracles that day. Firstly I was playing golf; normally I would have been in the office on my own. Secondly, I’d got Martin with me who is trained in CPR and then thirdly we’ve got a defibrillator at the golf club so what’s the odds of all that. I remember nothing about that day but I shall remember them forever for what they did and shall be eternally grateful to my golfing friends and the ambulance service staff.”


Notes to Editors:

Pictured left to right: Andy Watson (Advanced Paramedic), Martin Knowles (fellow golfer who did CPR), Liz Gurney (Paramedic), Kevin and Gill Threlfall, Steve Woodward (fellow golfer who did CPR), Ian Guest (Golf Club Official with defib), John Mumford (Kevin’s team mate), Rob Felton (Emergency Medical Technician) and Simon Chambers (Paramedic Area Support officer).


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