A grandad has praised the group of pals who saved his life when he collapsed during an ice hockey session.
Ged Cashley, 64, met up with friends on Friday at Dundee Ice Arena – something he does every week.
However, he suffered cardiac arrest while on the ice.
Quick-thinking members of the Dundee Old Timers Ice Hockey Club ran to his aid and, seeing that he was turning blue, began carrying out CPR.
Ice arena staff rushed to get a defibrillator and applied the paddles to his chest – shocking him with hundreds of volts of electricity.
Ged, from Kirkton, was later told by medical staff that if it wasn’t for both actions, he wouldn’t have survived.
“All I can remember is that I stepped onto the ice and then I woke up in a bed in hospital,” he said.
“The consultant said to me that if they hadn’t known CPR and the machine hadn’t been available, I would have died on Friday.
“Every day I have from now is a bonus, thanks to where I was, who I was with, and whoever had the wisdom to install that defibrillator.”
Ged’s cardiac arrest was brought on by an undetected narrowing of the coronary arteries linked to his heart.
He has since been fitted with stents and an internal defibrillator to avoid a repeat in future.
However, he knows that he is only in this position thanks to his friends and staff.
And he is now using his “second chance” to encourage people to learn CPR – and to push for more building owners to install portable defibrillators if they haven’t already.
He said: “There are two guys in our hockey group who have full health and medical training.
“One guy wasn’t there and the other was me.
“The three guys that did the CPR were a solicitor, a procurator fiscal and a promotions manager.
“Some of them were trained in the past but haven’t done it for years – that didn’t matter.
“There are so many opportunities to learn CPR and it only takes 30 minutes to learn. Once you’ve learned it once that’s it.
“Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you’re giving someone a chance.”
Ged believes more local businesses and councils should install portable defibrillators, also known as AEDs or PADs.
The devices can be bought for about £1,000 and provide clear instructions so anyone can use one in an emergency.
Ged said: “These should be widely available. In bigger buildings, they should even have more than one.
“These things have got a long shelf life, they need little maintenance and they save lives. It’s an absolute no-brainer.”
It’s going to be quite some time before Downfield man Ged – also a timekeeper for Dundee Stars and a referee for junior and recreational teams – gets back on the ice.
However, he knows he is lucky to be alive – and hopes people act to ensure others who suffer a similar fate are given the same chance to live.
Speaking from his bed at Ninewells Hospital, he said: “I am fully certain I am the luckiest person in the world.
“There was a wee batch of things that came together to keep me alive on Friday.
“I can’t think of another day of the week where that would have happened and I would have survived.
“I have no way to repay them for what they did.
“But I know that when I see them and tell them that, they’ll just say: ‘Forget it – it’s what you would have done for me.’”
A Leisure & Culture Dundee spokesperson said: “We are delighted to hear that there has been a positive outcome in this incident and commend our colleagues on duty for their quick response.
“We have defibrillators at all our Leisure & Sport facilities and this event illustrates just how essential they can be. Our team also have annual CPR and defibrillator training so that they have the knowledge to assist in emergency situations.
“That training can be invaluable and so we would like to credit our in-house first aid trainers for the quality of their instruction. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish the customer well in their recovery.”