LIFESAVING: Belgravia Leisure lifeguard Stephen Amess, Seaham Cricket Club captain Michael Akerman and Hinton Cricket Club secretary Adam Cooper at Lakeside Sports Complex where Robert Mathew (Inset) suffered a heart attack on Saturday. Picture: Simon McCarthy. The collective efforts of two cricket sides anda pool lifeguardhelped save the life of a man who collapsed during a match at Raymond Terrace last weekend.
Robert Mathew, a Hinton Cricket Club player, suffered a severe heart attack while fielding in a Maitland & District Cricket AssociationC-grade game at Lakeside Sports Complex near Grahamstown Dam on Saturday.
Players from the two teams, Hinton and Seaham cricket clubs, rushed to the 52-year-old’s aid and began immediate CPR.
Their efforts, along with a lifeguard from nearby Lakeside Leisure Centre who used the pool’s defibrillator, were instrumental in keeping the father of four alivebefore paramedics arrived.
Teammate and best friend, Chris Parkinson, was one of the first to administer first-aid. Mr Parkinson emotionally recounted the incidentto the NewcastleHerald, describing the heart-wrenching moments after his mate dropped to the ground.
“Bob and I have known each other for 25 years,” he said. “I was standing at cover and Bob was at fine leg, and some of the scorers’ just yelled out. We saw him down, and I was like a flash –I think it was the fastest I’d ever run.
“We rolled him over [and] it was obvious there was something wrong. He started to vomit and not breathe properly. When he went blue, I just panicked … I just panicked. There was a couple of other guys who took over.”
Adam Cooper, Hinton Cricket Club secretaryHeraldher father’s condition was slowly on the improve after he responded to commands from hospital staff on Wednesday morning. She read a statement on behalf of the family thanking those involved.
“We’re very grateful for the quick actions of the cricket teams from Hinton and Seaham, the staff at the Lakeside Leisure Centre and the emergency services personal,” she said.
“We would also like to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit Dad and offer support.”
The Maitland & District Cricket Associationhave offered to fundcounselling for any of the cricketers involved on the day.
A GoFundMe page titled ‘Raise a glass for Bobby’ has also been established to help with Mr Mathew’s recovery.