Nick Paynter, Daniel Tooze, Lucy Worts and Cat Foley outside the Exmouth leisure centre. Photo by Terry Ife ref exe 4595-32-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24
Monday, August 12, 2013
Father-of-three Daniel Tooze, 33, this week said a massive thank you to the people who brought him back from the dead.
Daniel, of Travershes Close, collapsed while playing squash at Exmouth Leisure Centre last Monday night.
His heart had stopped and he was clinically ‘dead’ for several minutes before being brought back by senior fitness instructor Cat Foley and duty manager Nick Paynter.
Daniel, an assistant bar manager at the First and Last pub, had been playing alternate matches with his two friends, Rich McCarthy and Richard Hardman.
He told The Journal: “I remember Richard playing a shot into the corner. I went for it, missed and started gasping for breath.
“I went as blue as a Smurf, slid down the wall and started fitting and foaming at the mouth.
“The next thing I remember was waking up in an ambulance.”
Rich said he saw something was seriously wrong and ran to the reception to call for an ambulance.
He then grabbed Cat who was walking down the stairs.
Cat, with the help of lifeguard Lucy Worts, put Daniel into the recovery position and administered mouth-to-mouth and chest compression in a bid to get him breathing again.
Meanwhile, duty manager Nick Paynter grabbed the centre’s defibrillator and checked Daniel’s pulse, before giving him the first of two life-saving electric shocks.
Nick said it was the first time he had ever had to use the defibrillator. “To see someone so ill, that something was so clearly wrong - well, it is terrifying,” he said.
“You just try to remember your training.
“And then to see that what you have been taught actually works and they have started breathing again is such a humbling thing.”
Within minutes, paramedics had arrived and Daniel has no doubt that he has Cat, Nick, his friends and that final, 12th game to thank for saving his life.
Daniel said: “Richard said ‘just one more game’.
“The doctor said the cardiac arrest would have happened anyway, so if I hadn’t played that last game, I would have been in the shower and nobody would have known I had collapsed. That last game saved me.”
Daniel now has a miniature defibrillator fitted and will soon have to have major heart surgery.
He added: “I just want people to know that at the sports centre they have the kind of gear and training that saves lives.
“If they hadn’t, I’d be ‘brown bread’.
“I can’t thank them enough - I’m so grateful.”