Heart attack victim’s charity trek

sp93031 Heart Attack Victim To Do Sponsored Walk. Rob and Sue Farnfield.
sp93031 Heart Attack Victim To Do Sponsored Walk. Rob and Sue Farnfield.

A DAD-OF-FOUR who was resuscitated seven times after suffering a heart attack is taking on a 17 mile trek to raise vital funds for charity.

Rob Farnfield, 54, of Hackney Road in Matlock, was refereeing a match at Matlock Rugby Club last November when he had a heart attack and collapsed.

Fortunately, two off-duty nurses were watching the game and gave him valuable resuscitation (CPR) until the First Responders arrived with a defibrillator, a portable piece of life saving equipment that delivers an electric shock through the chest wall to help restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

He was then taken by air ambulance to the University Hospital Coventry.

Rob, who was unconscious throughout most of the ordeal, was told he was resuscitated seven times.

He said: “There were about ten minutes to go in the game when I collapsed on the pitch. There was no warning or any pain. It was as if someone had just turned the power off.”

He added: “I felt fine beforehand. I’m reasonably fit, don’t have blood pressure or the things you would associate with a heart problems

After having a stent fitted, Rob spent five days in hospital recovering before taking on cardiac rehabilitation at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale.

He now takes part in gym sessions especially for heart patients, at Arc Leisure Matlock and within less than a year has gone from being able to walk just a few feet to walking from Matlock to Derby.

With his wife, Sue, Rob will now join hundreds of walkers for the British Heart Foundations’s High Peak Trail Winter Challenge Walk on Sunday November 20. The event follows the route of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway.

Rob said: “The British Heart Foundation has been brilliant with information and advice. It just helps knowing that you are not alone and there are lots of other people out there who have had similar experiences.

He added: “It was a terrifying time for my wife and our four children and am grateful to be alive. The High Peak Trail Winter Challenge Walk is taking place almost a year to the day from when I had my heart attack and it finishes in the exact location so I thought it would be fitting to take part.”

Rob has not refereed at Matlock Rugby Club since his heart attack but has been to the club base, at Cromford Meadows, many times since and the charity has paid for a defibrillator for the club house.

BHF regional events organiser Helen Whiteley said: “I would like to thank Rob and Sue for taking part in this event. It is estimated that if a person receives CPR and defibrillation within the first five minutes, their chances of survival can be increased by up to 30% so it is clear that those around Rob did a fantastic job.”

Entry for the walk is £10 for adults and £5 for children (aged 16 years or under).

Register online at bhf.org.uk/highpeak, call free phone 0800 169 3672 or email northwestwales@bhf.org.uk for entry forms.