Man who had heart attack in Alfreton gym fundraises for new defibrillator

Michael Conways life was saved by members of the gym pictured with chief fundraiser Shelly Fidler.
Michael Conways life was saved by members of the gym pictured with chief fundraiser Shelly Fidler.
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After one man’s life was saved by a defibrillator he has joined the fundraising campaign to help put more additional machines into other gyms across the area

Retired Michael Conway from Selston, 67, joined the Alfreton Leisure Centre gym in November of last year with the intention of keeping himself fit.

Whilst on one of his regular training sessions he was on the treadmill, aiming to run a five-minute mile.

He checked his heart rate, using the treadmill inbuilt monitor and noticed it was raised.

He stopped, came off the treadmill, and that was the last thing he remembered until waking up in the Northern General hospital two days later.

He said: “I had an heart attack but because of the quick-thinking staff I’m here to tell the tale.

“Doctors told me had I have been out running on the road I wouldn’t have made it which just proves how import defibrillators are they really do save lives.”
Michael had suffered a cardiac arrest due to an unknown genetic heart problem.

Peter Sharkey, contract manager at the leisure centre said: “Because of well trained staff who acted quickly this is a story with a happy ending for Michael.

“With and aging population and deteriorating health problems we have had to use a defibrillator several times.

“The benefits of having life-saving equipment on hand really is invaluable.

“I am proud of what the staff did that day.”
Since then fundraising has been ongoing to cover the cost of three defibrillator one on each site, Ripley, Heanor and Alfreton.

Peter said: “Michael was back at the gym within weeks as good as new.”

Chris Bexton contract marketing manager for Amber Valley said: ““The quick actions of the centres trained staff, and use of their defibrillator, had kept him alive until the air ambulance crew could get him to the help he needed from the hospital staff.”

As part of the fundraising effort all three sites ran a raffle, with prizes donated from the local community.

It was drawn Michael Conway, who is now back to health following his cardiac rehabilitation and already starting his new exercise regime.

Further fundraising efforts include a recent sponsored Amber Valley bike ride. This was attended by a small team from Ripley Leisure Centre and other future events are planned at all of the three sites. To donate to the fund contact the leisure centre on 01773 523325.