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By IH Thursday 18 October 2012 Updated: 24/10 09:43
EX-FOOTBALLER Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a heart attack on the pitch, will spearhead a campaign by a Shipston charity to try and prevent 100,000 deaths from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK every year.
Bolton Wanderers have teamed-up with Arrhythmia Alliance, The Heart Rhythm Charity, for the national year-long campaign Hearts and Goals. Fabrice was playing for Bolton in an FA Cup match against Spurs when he suffered sudden cardiac arrest back in March. Fabrice stopped breathing for two hours. Thankfully he survived, but the 24-year-old has since been forced to retire from the game.
The campaign will not only raise awareness but will deliver practical benefits by giving communities across the country access to 500 new defibrillators, as well as CPR and defibrillator training so lives can be saved.
Fabrice said: “I am really pleased to be able to lead this campaign. I was staggered to find out that 100,000 people a year die from sudden cardiac arrest.
“Anyone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest who is treated with CPR and a defibrillator is ten times more likely to survive than just having CPR alone.
“We have got a number of key initiatives, such as providing CPR training. I will be learning how to use an AED, and I hope that we can create something really good from this campaign.
Trudie Lobban, Chief Executive and Founder of Arrhythmia Alliance, said the campaign offered an opportunity to increase the number of public-access defibrillators in the UK and people's understanding of how to use them.
She added: “What happened to Fabrice put the deadly potential of heart rhythm disorders under a national spotlight.
“Fabrice was extremely fortunate to benefit from immediate medical assistance of the highest calibre, and was still very fortunate to survive, many thousands of other people are not so lucky.
Ian Laithwaite, head of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, said the club was pleased to be able to play a part in the project.
Visit www.heartrhythmcharity.org.uk for further details.
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