Keith thanks Meadowbank staff who saved life – and urges first aid lessons

Monday 12th June 2023

Pictured: Keith Ridley (left), with Edinburgh Leisure’s Martin Bews, Operations Supervisor at Meadowbank Sports Centre

Edinburgh AC coach Keith Ridley has thanked staff at Meadowbank Sports Centre, who saved his life when he collapsed on the track following a training session.

Keith had just finished his own training session and was due to start training younger members of the club, when he suffered a heart attack.

Some medical students who were training on the track, and Operations Supervisor at Meadowbank Martin Bews, administered CPR until paramedics arrived to take over.

‘Greg Cobb, a Welcome Host at the centre, who had previously trained as a cardiac nurse, also gave valuable support.

Keith was taken to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, where he had two stents installed in blocked arteries and an ICD (implantable defibrillator) in his chest.

He said: ‘I count myself incredibly fortunate with the circumstances in which my heart attack happened and will be forever grateful for the quick actions of the medical students and the staff at Edinburgh Leisure’s Meadowbank Sports Centre, especially Martin and Greg, who most definitely saved my life.

‘Medical friends of mine have told me just how critical those first few minutes are in terms of the right care administered that can make the difference in saving a life.’

He also urged others to learn key first aid skills, and to find out the location of defibrillators in their locality: ‘The more that people can be made aware of the importance of immediate CPR and defibrillators in these circumstances, the better.’

Keith spent a week in hospital after the incident in March, but recovered well and has now returned home. On the advice of his cardiology nurse, he has been making a gradual return to activity.

Claire Rusack, Operations Director at Edinburgh Leisure said: “We are so glad that Keith is doing well and on the road to recovery. We are so proud of all the team and for the great outcome

‘Edinburgh Leisure places a huge importance on equipping our staff with the necessary skills to cope with lots of different situations.

‘In this instance, their first aid training and accident and emergency procedures ensured an incident well managed. You hope you’ll never have to use your first aid skills, but it just highlights how critical these skills can be in saving someone’s life.’

  • In February, UK Athletics and the four Home Countries federations announced a new mandatory first aid requirement for coaches and leaders when receiving/renewing their licence – read more.

– With thanks to Edinburgh Leisure.

Tags: Edinburgh AC, First aid, Meadowbank Stadium

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