Eriksen scare underlines Danish model merits says Skye charity

Danish footballer Christian Erisken suffered a cardiac arrest during his nation’s opening match of the European Championship earlier this month.

Lucky2BHere founder Ross Cowie has reiterated the essential role that Emergency Life Support training and access to defibrillators play in the survival chances of cardiac arrest victims following the harrowing collapse of footballer Christian Eriksen.

Ross Cowie, who set up the charity in 2007, knows first-hand of the importance of these factors having survived a cardiac arrest due to the proximity of an ambulance when he collapsed at the Skye Camanachd Shinty Club.

The main activity of Lucky2BHere is to place defibrillators and deliver ELS training to communities throughout Scotland.

The charity’s link-up with the Western Isles through Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been particularly progressive with the partnership ensuring ELS can be taught to every primary and secondary pupil across the islands, with a defibrillator also fitted in every school.

On 12th June, millions of people watched in horror as Denmark’s star player Christian Eriksen collapsed during his nation’s opening match against Finland.

Danish team doctor, Morten Boesen, later told the media that Eriksen, 29, had been brought back with one shock from a defibrillator having suffered a cardiac arrest.

The former Tottenham Hotspur player has since been discharged from hospital following a successful operation to fit a heart-starting device.

Lucky2BHere founder Ross Cowie has campaigned for ELS training to be made available to school children across Scotland.

Ross Cowie commended the efforts of those involved but stressed the importance of grassroots training at a young age and equitable access to essential equipment.

He said: “I thought the rapid reaction of the medics, the response of the players, the crowd, and everyone else in the ground was both amazing and emotional.

“This happened in Denmark where all children are taught ELS, nobody can get a driving licence without an ELS certificate, and that’s why survival rates there are so good.

“Christian Eriksen had access to a highly trained medical team, not every event or community has this which is why everyone should be able to do CPR and have if possible access to a defibrillator.”

Ross told the Free Press that during her tenure as health secretary, he met with the now First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Holyrood with pupils from Portree High School to show her and other MSPs how to perform CPR.

He said: “The reason I met with her was to ask: why, when we look at the statistics from other countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, can we not give two hours out of the school day to teach children emergency life support training?”

Article by Adam Gordon, Ross Cowie image by Willie Urquhart.