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Leeds United Support Restart a Heart Day

01 October 2015

Leeds United are proud to support a Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) initiative to teach life-saving skills at local schools.

On Friday October 16, 2015 - European Restart a Heart Day - YAS will visit 90 secondary schools across Yorkshire to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to more than 20,000 children in what will be the biggest event of its kind ever seen in the world.

In preparation for the event, YAS visited Leeds United’s Thorp Arch training ground on Friday September 25 to gain the support from the players.

Teenage cardiac arrest survivor Alex Cowes, who owes his life to the CPR skills of staff at his school, was also there to meet his sporting heroes.

Fifteen-year-old Alex collapsed during a PE lesson at Fulford School in York on 30 April 2015. Staff immediately recognised the seriousness of his condition and started CPR and used an on-site defibrillator to bring him back to life. Thanks to their actions, Alex made an extraordinary recovery and was able to return to school just weeks to complete 14 GCSE exams.

Leeds captain Sol Bamba said: “As a club we are proud to support the Yorkshire Ambulance Service with their Restart a Heart initiative.

“CPR skills are crucial, and since the YAS visited the training ground, we have actually arranged for a demonstration with all of the squad here at Thorp Arch.

“We are also urging Leeds United supporters to back the campaign and learn CPR skills. You could save a life by doing so.”

YAS held its first mass CPR training event last year as part of the European Resuscitation Council’s Restart a Heart Day when more than 11,000 schoolchildren at 50 schools received CPR training.

Coincidentally, Alex, a keen footballer and athlete with no previous health problems, was one of the youngsters who took part in the day.

This year’s event is set to be much bigger. By again linking in with the Resuscitation Council and British Heart Foundation (BHF), which provides the equipment as part of its Nation of Lifesavers campaign, we will equip thousands of children with the skills they need to save a life.

A total of 216 YAS staff, 96 Community First Responders, 60 St John Ambulance volunteers as well as staff from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Hull Royal Infirmary and York District Hospital are giving up their time on the day to pass on their life-saving skills to others.

Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year. If this happens in front of a bystander who starts CPR immediately before the arrival of the ambulance, the patient’s chances of survival double. This is why YAS is committed to providing the life-saving education across Yorkshire.

Jason Carlyon, Resuscitation Manager for YAS, said: “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning CPR training event that we organise every year to mark European Restart a Heart Day and are delighted that Leeds United Football Club is supporting our efforts.

“Heart disease can strike without warning and can affect anyone of any age. Alex is living proof of why it is so important for schoolchildren and members of the public to learn this life-saving skill.”

For more information on the Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s Restart a Heart initiative, please email restartaheart@yas.nhs.uk

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department