Gym coach honoured for saving collapsed doctor

Award: Dr Harry Chan (below) was saved by coach Chris Swain (above), who received his award on stage in Birmingham
Award: Dr Harry Chan (below) was saved by coach Chris Swain (above), who received his award on stage in Birmingham
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A gym coach who helped save the life of a doctor after he collapsed on a squash court has been honoured by his fellow professionals.

Chris Swain and his staff used a defibrillator to revive Dr Harry Chan following a cardiac arrest during a match at the David Lloyd Gym at Whittle-le-Woods near Chorley.

Now, six months later, Chris has won David Lloyd Leisure’s Team Member of the Year award for the way he and his team responded to the emergency.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win this – but I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of everyone at Chorley and the training that David Lloyd Leisure offers to its team members,” he said.

Lead coach Chris sprang into action with other members of staff when intensive care registrar Dr Chan collapsed on court. The team used the club’s defib machine to deliver a shock which restored Dr Chan’s heart rhythm before paramedics arrived.

Later, as 38-year-old Dr Chan was recovering at home in Ulnes Walton near Leyland, he said: “I’ve been very, very fortunate. It’s a miracle really. The last thing you expect is to die on the squash court and then get revived again. I am very grateful to the wonderful people who did what they did. I’m lucky to still be here. In my job I have seen a lot of patients who have come out of these sort of episodes and invariably they have suffered quite a lot of damage.

“Fortunately for me, help was on hand straight away - it’s a case of the earlier the shock the better the outcome. A whole lot of things went in my favour that night.

“I was lucky there was a defibrillator there at the gym. And there were a number of people there who were trained how to use it. Everything that needs to be done was done in the right way and I’m incredibly grateful to the David Lloyd staff and everyone else for all they did. If this had to happen then I was in the perfect place for it to happen.”

David Lloyd Chorley general manager Toby Durston added: “It’s amazing what Chris has achieved in his working year and his actions in saving Dr Chan’s life are phenomenal – it highlights the importance of our team members being trained and prepared for any situation.

“There aren’t many people who can say they saved someone’s life during their normal working day and Chris should be extremely proud.”