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Luton Town’s Tom Lockyer calls on nation to learn CPR following cardiac arrest 

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Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer who suffered a cardiac arrest during a Premier League match has urged the nation to learn CPR with the British Heart Foundation (BHF). 

The 29-year-old collapsed during a Premier League game against Bournemouth on 16 December last year, with bystanders and club medics rushing to perform CPR and provide early defibrillation.  

The Welshman said it was thanks to these quick actions that his life was saved and is now backing the BHF’s campaign to get the nation to learn CPR this Heart Month, as well as raise funds for lifesaving research.  

Every 90 minutes – the length of a football match – at least five people in the UK suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This equates to more than 30,000 a year. Tragically, less than one in ten people survive, often because those around them don’t have the confidence to perform CPR or use a defibrillator.  

Tom, who has also played for Bristol Rovers, is about to become a dad for the first time, said if everyone affected by his story learnt CPR then more people would have a better chance of survival. The BHF estimates that as many as 23 million adults in the UK have never learnt these lifesaving skills. 

portrait1 | Luton Town’s Tom Lockyer calls on nation to learn CPR following cardiac arrest 
Tom Lockyer

“I’m an example of the power of CPR, and how it can save lives. I’m so grateful to the people who saved my life, and that I can have special moments with my family like our baby coming very soon,” he said.  

The Hatters star recalled his memories of 16 December. Tom said: “On that day in December, I remember jogging up to the halfway line and becoming lightheaded. I then woke up from a nothingness on the floor and I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak. Eventually I was able to move and speak. Without the people who reacted quickly by performing CPR and using a defibrillator, I wouldn’t be here today and waiting for my little girl to come into the world.” 

Tom spent five days in hospital and had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device fitted.  

“I have so much to be thankful for. I have my health which is the main thing and I’m really looking forward to the future. If there’s a chance I could be back playing then I would love to,” he added. 

The footballer urged the nation to learn CPR to help save a life in the ultimate medical emergency.  

“This Heart Month, I’m calling on everyone to learn CPR with the BHF’s RevivR training tool,” he said.  

“It takes just 15 minutes and you could learn how to potentially save a life. With at least five people in the UK suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every 90 minutes, learning lifesaving CPR can give you the confidence to step in during an emergency.” 

The BHF’s free online training tool RevivR can teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator in just 15 minutes. Quick CPR and defibrillation can more the double the chances of survival in the ultimate medical emergency. 

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Late last year, thousands of us across the country witnessed Tom collapse on the pitch and willed him to make a recovery. It is incredible to know that thanks to prompt CPR and defibrillation Tom’s life was saved and it makes it even more poignant to know that he will be here for the birth of his little girl.  

“But not everybody is as fortunate, and that’s why we’re urging everyone to learn CPR to help improve survival rates and save more lives. We owe it to Tom and to future generations to ensure that everyone has the skill to help save a life. 

“We’re incredibly grateful to Tom for using his platform to encourage the nation to learn CPR while supporting the British Heart Foundation this Heart Month.” 

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The welfare of participants and all those involved in football is an absolute priority. The launch of our Defibrillator Fund in 2021 has made these life-saving devices available across the football community, supporting those who use football facilities with the provision of defibrillators, as well as the training required to use them. 

“Sadly, a sudden cardiac incident could happen anytime, anywhere and we hope by enabling more facilities to have a device, and ensuring more people are trained, it will make the difference in saving someone’s life.” 

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