Three times Ryder Cup Captain Bernard Gallacher OBE is calling for defibrillators to become as common as smoke alarms after he was saved by one when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.  

“You can be fit, you can go to the gym, you can run, you can play golf, you can play sports, and yet you can still have a sudden cardiac arrest, without warning,” the renowned professional golfer and sudden cardiac arrest survivor explained.

A recent survey undertaken by Arrhythmia Alliance found that more than a third of people do not know if their sports club has an AED. They also found that 1 in 5 people don’t know how to perform CPR. Although most of those who responded know what an AED is, more than 50% said they don’t know how to use one.

“A defibrillator saved my life” - three-time Ryder Cup Captain, Bernard Gallacher, OBE.

To increase awareness and understanding Arrhythmia Alliance Ambassador, Bernard Gallacher, has shared his story together with his wife Lesley, explaining what happened to him and how he is lucky to have survived when 100,000 people in the UK die each year because of a sudden cardiac arrest.

Bernard Gallacher’s story

In 2013, the three-time Ryder Cup Captain, collapsed, suffering a sudden cardiac arrest as he was about to give an after-dinner speech. If it wasn’t for the quick actions of a member of the audience and the prompt use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – Bernard would not be here today to tell his story.

Bernard and Lesley highlight the importance of having an AED nearby and the peace of mind that his Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD) has provided.

“You know he had everything, he had the best chance ever,” said Lesley, grateful for the quick actions of others and the life-saving equipment available. “Not everybody can be saved, but everybody deserves the chance to be saved.”

Bernard wanted to make others aware and to help save lives, so he became an Ambassador with Arrhythmia Alliance to campaign for the importance of easy access to defibrillators in both the community, golf clubs, and at sporting facilities. He believes AEDs should be as common as smoke alarms, they should be available to all and so many more lives would be saved each year.

For more information about defibrillators, visit:

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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