Squash player had to relearn alphabet after cardiac arrest in 'best game'

Mal Adams, 58, suffered a cardiac arrest after playing a game of squash at Dundee University Sports Centre in February 2019.

Squash player who had cardiac arrest after ‘best’ game in Dundee reunited with life saving crew SAS via Supplied

A squash player who suffered a cardiac arrest after having his “best ever game” has been reunited with the crew who saved his life.

Mal Adams, from Arbroath, was playing with a friend at Dundee University Sports Centre in February 2019, when he started to feel unwell.

Moments later, a 999 call was made after the 58-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest.

Mal, an assembly technician, explained: “One of the guys in my team said it was the best game of squash I have ever played. I then marked someone else’s game, and then went to get changed.

“I then said to the guy I was with, ‘I’m not feeling very well’ and I just collapsed.”

Technician Emma Gray administered instructions over the phone to two staff members at the sports centre as they performed CPR on Mal and used a nearby defibrillator.

An ambulance crew arrived within four minutes and took the 58-year-old to hospital, where he spent the next three months recuperating – having spent nine days in an induced coma.

The dad-of-three added: “I had to learn the alphabet again and how to spell things. I couldn’t even spell cat, but I have progressed from that.

“There’s still difficult days, but I’ve come a huge way from where I was and I just accept now things have changed.”

While Mal has since been able to thank the sports centre staff in person, he had never managed to thank the ambulance crew.

He reached out to the SAS and was reunited with paramedics Kerry Sweeney, Keith Dickinson, Michelle Bond and dispatcher Darren Morrison.

The technician presented the ambulance staff with certificates of appreciation on Tuesday for the role they played in saving his life.

He said: “They absolutely saved my life and I will be forever grateful for that. I know they will say they were just doing their job, but the attention they pay to the patient is great – it was a real organised team effort.

“When I met the sports centre staff and they filled in some blanks with the story. One of them said, ‘you will not believe this, the day before this happened, we had only just finished our training with the defib.

“It’s so important to learn CPR.”

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