St John has 1000 defibrillators for community groups across WA

Gary Byrne, paramedic Khea Borkowski and Kwinana Golf Club member Barrie Quigley. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au   d488924
Gary Byrne, paramedic Khea Borkowski and Kwinana Golf Club member Barrie Quigley. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d488924

CARDIAC arrest survivor Gary Byrne owes his life to the availability of a defibrillator.

Mr Byrne was playing a round of golf at Kwinana Golf Club last year when he collapsed while taking a shot.

His friends came to his aid, providing CPR and fetching a defibrillator from the clubhouse. They applied the pads and one shock restarted Mr Byrne’s heart.

Mr Byrne was taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital by St John ambulance and made a full recovery.

The 65-year-old is now back playing golf.

He credits the access to a defibrillator for saving his life.

Mr Byrne is encouraging sporting and community groups to apply for a Heart Grant.

Not-for-profit organisations in WA can apply to receive a public access defibrillator and a storage cabinet.

After a $1.3 million donation from Lotterywest, St John is rolling out the Heart Grant program.

The program will result in an extra 1000 defibrillators in the community, increasing the capacity for bystanders to save a life in the event of a cardiac arrest.

St John chief executive Michelle Fyfe said St John was determined for cardiac arrest survival rates to improve in WA.

He said the key was more public access defibrillators in the community.

To apply visit St John Heart Grant.