Rugby nurse saves life of football legend
A nurse from Rugby hit the headlines after she sprang into action to help save the life of a Leicester City Football Club legend.
During the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards last Thursday Alan Birchenall, aged 71, the former Leicester City player and current club ambassador, collapsed.
Lisa Fereday, who lives in Dunchurch, was at the award ceremony with her family as her daughter, Elana-Rose, had been nominated for the Junior Sportswoman of the Year award.
Mrs Fereday, aged 37 and a cardiac nurse at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, sprang into action when she heard someone had collapsed.
She said: “We were halfway through the awards when there was a lot of commotion behind the stage and I heard someone had collapsed. My natural instincts kicked in to offer any help and assistance. I quickly realised it was Alan and that he was in a life-and-death situation.
“He was having a cardiac arrest and he was not breathing.
“I took over chest compressions and asked for someone to get the automatic defibrillator.
“I administered a shock and continued compressions and after two minutes gave him another shock.
“After some time the paramedics arrived and we switched to a manual defibrillator and gave him another shock and secured his airway better with equipment from paramedics and after the fourth shock he came around.
“He opened his eyes and he looked at me and said ‘Wow what just happened there?’”
He was taken to the coronary care unit at Glenfield Hospital, which is where Mrs Fereday works.
She said “I went to work the next day and saw Alan. He was doing really well and saying how sore his chest was after the compressions so we had a bit of a laugh and a joke about that.
“He is now at home after having an operation but he is doing really well.
“I spoke to him everyday and he has been more than grateful about everything we have done for him.”
The football legend is a strong campaigner for defibrillators in public places and the one that was used to save his life at Leicester Tiger’s Welford Road stadium was one Birchenall had personally campaigned for.
Mrs Fereday, who has been a cardiac nurse for 15 years, said: “He has been a real ambassador for defibrillators in the community for three years and now one has saved his life. Knowing how to use a defibrillator or knowing where the nearest one is could save a life. The Tigers ground had an automatic defibrillator which ultimately saved his life. It could have been a different story.”
“I would encourage people to go onto these CPR and defibrillator courses and get the education or to know where the nearest defibrillator is because just knowing where it is could help. Ultimately they could save someone’s life and that is what it is all about.”