Former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has announced plans to lead a campaign for the machine which helped save his life to be made widely available at golf courses throughout Britain.
The Scottish golfing legend was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in a critical condition on 29 August after he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed at the Marcliffe Hotel on the outskirts of Aberdeen.
The 64-year-old Scot, who led the European team to a dramatic victory over America in the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill during his third spell as captain, collapsed before he give an after dinner speech in the city.
Speaking last month he said: “I had no pain, no warning of what was coming. People said I suddenly collapsed. They said it looked like I’d been floored by a boxer.
“Three nurses gave me immediate help. The Marcliffe Hotel had a defibrillator, which was incredibly lucky. If it hadn’t been I wouldn’t be here. These people saved my life.”
A spokesman for Mr Gallacher said: “Bernard is planning his return to the golf course and making plans to lead a campaign for defibrillators to be widely available at golf courses, following treatment at Aberdeen Royal infirmary for sudden heart arrhythmia.
“Whilst undertaking an engagement for a corporate client in Aberdeen, Bernard was taken ill and spent 15 days under the excellent care of medical staff in Aberdeen, seven days of which were in intensive care.”
Gallacher went into cardiac arrest, commonly known as ‘Sudden Death Syndrome, on three occasions following irregular heart activity in the days preceding the incident. Thankfully, all golf fans will be delighted to hear he is now on his way to making a full recovery.
“The availability of a defibrillator was central in giving Bernard a chance of survival and along with his wife, Lesley, and the support of the PGA and European Tour, he will be championing a campaign to make defibrillators widely accessible at golf courses around the UK,” added the spokesman.
Bathgate-born Gallacher played in the Ryder Cup eight times and was non-playing captain of the European team in 1991, 1993 and 1995. Nephew, Stephen, is seeking to make the Ryder Cup team for next year’s match at Gleneagles.