Local football club given life-saving gear by York dental practice

Gazette & Herald: At the presentation of a defibrillator to Poppleton Junior Football Club from Thorpe Dental Practice are, front, from left, Oscar Leeson, Recce Willoughby, Kris Leeson,  Hazel Walter, Mike Walter and Phil Palmer At the presentation of a defibrillator to Poppleton Junior Football Club from Thorpe Dental Practice are, front, from left, Oscar Leeson, Recce Willoughby, Kris Leeson, Hazel Walter, Mike Walter and Phil Palmer

A YORK dental practice has donated a potentially life-saving device to a local football club after the near-death of a Premier League player.

The automatic external defibrillator (AED), which can be used on adults and children, was presented to Poppleton Junior FC by Thorpe Dental Group, along with a training package for ten coaches or managers.

It follows the on-pitch cardiac arrest of Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba. His heart stopped for 78 minutes before he was revived after numerous defibrillator shocks.

Mike Walter, the club’s facilities manager and Poppleton Panthers Under-15s coach, said: “It’s an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of owning an AED and having suitably-trained coaches and managers within grassroots football clubs, as sudden cardiac arrests can happen at any age.”

“We will hopefully never have to use the AED, but if we do, it may make a difference to somebody’s life.”

Thorpe Dental Group’s practice manager Mechelle Derbyshire said principal dentist Dr Kris Leeson was a Bolton supporter. She said: “He knows how having a defibrillator on site can be the difference between life and death, and he and the group pride ourselves on supporting the community through sponsorship of many young sports teams.”

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