Mum wants clubs to have defibrilators

Sunbury mum Sue Buckman wants Colac Otway Shire Council to provide sports clubs with defibrillators.

A MOTHER whose son died from a heart attack at football training says Colac Otway Shire Council should equip football clubs with life-saving equipment.

Sunbury’s Sue Buckman experienced the heartbreak of losing a child when Stephen Buckman, 19, died at Rupertswood Football Club training.

Stephen’s death prompted the creation of Defib Your Club, For Life, which aims to provide clubs with access to defibrillators – machines which use electricity to re-start hearts.

Mrs Buckman, a director of the group, said Hume City Council had committed to buy 21 defibrillators at its October meeting, at a cost of almost $50,000.

She urged councils state-wide to do likewise.

Mrs Buckman said Defib Your Club, For Life had brought the price of a defibrillator down to $2300 a unit, which included training and replacement batteries for eight years.

“They’re looking to put it in their aquatic centres and places people congregate. They can hopefully start a bit of a trend there,” she said.

“I dare say other councils should do the same.”

Stephen had to wait more than 20 minutes for an ambulance after suffering a heart attack in May last year, despite off-duty paramedic Andrew White calling for urgent assistance.

Mrs Buckman said a defibrillator could have saved his life.

“Stephen was without a defibrillator for 22 minutes. Had we had a defibrillator things could be very different,” she said.

“The skills were there but nobody had the equipment.

“The body has a five-minute reserve of oxygen. If defibrillation can happen early, quite often the patient sits up and goes ‘oh what happened’.

“Anything after five minutes the percentage comes down.”

Mrs Buckman said she would seek to meet with Colac Otway Shire Council chief Rob Small during an upcoming visit to Colac.

A handful of Colac district sport clubs already have defibrillators but Mrs Buckman said it was important every club had access to one.

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