Lifesaving is par for the course at Jedburgh Golf Club

A former armed forces first aid trainer has brought the gift of life to members at Jedburgh Golf Club.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:56 pm
David Sullivan with honorary captain Roy Laidlaw. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Father-of-four David Sullivan, 58, from Surrey is spending ten weeks crossing the UK on a lifesaving challenge.

He will be covering one thousand miles and hitting an estimated quarter of a million golf shots on ‘The World’s Longest Golf Hole’ challenge.

Starting in John O’Groats, David is walking between 14 and 30 miles every day until he reaches Land’s End — all the while, hitting a golf ball.

David Sullivan, Roy Laidlaw, honorary captain and caterer Naomi Fouracres. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Golf-loving David is taking on this unusual challenge to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation.

The money is to help place life-saving defibrillators into villages, towns and cities up and down the country.

At every one of David’s 70 stops on his mammoth journey, he is training individuals how to save lives with CPR

After hearing that Jedburgh Golf Club was planning a fundraising effort to buy a defibrillator he turned up on the course to hand over one free of charge to Borders rugby legend Roy Laidlaw, the club’s honorary captain.

While in the town he also found time to do CPR presentations at Jedburgh Fire Station and Cullen Kilshaw legal and estate agency.

David, 58, said: “I lost four very close friends, my golf partner and my cycling buddies, all younger than me, all under the age of 46 and they all died of cardiac arrest, which really hurt me in the space of a few months five years ago.

"People don’t realise how many golfers die on golf courses each year. Five hundred go into cardiac arrest in the course of a year.

"After what happened to Christian Eriksen at the Euros people are starting to realise that cardiac arrest can happen to anybody but we’re still miles behind Europe, where the survival rate in some locations is 40 per cent – compared to seven per cent here. It’s all about education.

"Every defibrillator should be by law on the outside of a building, available 24 hours a day. This will be fantastic for your community because 70 per cent of cardiac arrests happen between nine and ten o’clock in the morning, so what is the point of having a piece of life-saving kit locked up behind a set of doors.”

David’s passion for teaching people CPR came about when he was faced with a life-or-death situation three years ago.

When a young man experienced a cardiac arrest in front of him, David luckily knew what to do. He gave CPR for 17 minutes until the man could be treated with a defibrillator.

David hopes his charity challenge will help teach as many people as possible the life-saving skill of CPR and will ensure that many more locations in the country are equipped with defibrillators. David’s fundraising target for the event is £60,000.

Donations can be made by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/david-sullivan-77