The referee suffered cardiac arrest during a football match at Mansfield

A grandfather has praised emergency services for saving his life after he suffered cardiac arrest while officiating a football match at Mansfield. Andrew Jarvis, who was 60 at the time, collapsed on the pitch at Rainworth Miners Welfare FC where he was an assistant referee for a game against Hallam FC.

Mr Jarvis, a retired teacher, had collapsed when his heart stopped beating and he was promptly given CPR. The football club‘s defibrillator was then used to restart his heart and paramedics at the scene helped stabilize him and prepare him for the arrival of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland (DLRA) air ambulance.

To give his heart the best chance of recovery and to improve his oxygen levels, the DLRAA intensive care team anesthetized and intubated Mr Jarvis to stabilize him for airlift to hospital. He needed urgent heart surgery and it would have taken 45 minutes for a land ambulance to get him to hospital.

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In just 13 minutes, the air ambulance had landed at the Royal Derby Hospital. He was treated by cardiologists who fitted a stent to widen a blocked artery and three days later he was well enough to go home.

“I was told it was tactile for a while,” he says. “My condition was critical and I could have had brain damage, but luckily I am alive and well. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me. I received quality treatment from the from highly trained people on the scene and then I was transferred directly to where I needed to be for a life-saving operation.”

Since the incident in August last year, Mr Jarvis, from Worksop, has partnered with physiotherapist Shannon Brooks who called emergency services and gave him CPR. The aim was to raise enough money to provide three defibrillators on non-league football grounds.

He also wants to promote the work of the local air ambulance and the role they played in his survival by sharing his story. “I knew the air ambulance is a charity, but I didn’t realize it was entirely dependent on donations and fundraising to stay operational,” he added.

“I thought there was state support. That’s why I want to use my story to help raise awareness and funds for the lifesaving work they do every day of the year. “

He now hopes to become a volunteer speaker for the charity now that he is feeling better. “I was in the right place at the right time, which means the chain of survival worked for me,” he said.

“Emergency services were called quickly, I was given good quality CPR, a defibrillator was available and was used effectively on me, then I received intensive care at the scene with a quick transfer to hospital. I’m incredibly lucky to be alive and I can’t thank everyone involved enough.”

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