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Tatton Cyclist Life Saved by Defibrilator and Trained Personnel

Adrian, Robbie, Rob and Mark in Tatton's gardens

The quick response of Tatton’s ranger team and that of a regular visitor to Tatton plus the use of an emergency defibrillator lead to the life of cyclist Rob Harwood being saved just days before Christmas.

Rob’s experience shows that the practice of cpr (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the use of defibrillators is vital in treating people with suspected cardiac arrests and helps to save lives.

Duty rangers Mark Sills and Adrian Bell were called to an incident at the main gates to Tatton Park at about 11am on December 14. Rob, 51, had collapsed as he entered the park and was suffering a cardiac arrest.  Local cyclist Robbie Wolfson was already administering chest compressions when they arrived. Mark and Adrian immediately started to treat Rob with a defibrillator to restart his heart, enabling him to breathe again before paramedics from North West ambulance arrived to take over.

Robbie, a dentist from Knutsford who is fully trained in emergency procedures,  had recently attended a session at Knutsford Community Heartstart. Heartstart is run and administered by Knutsford Community First Responders Trust and aims to teach emergency life support skills, free of charge, to as many members of the public who would like basic life saving skills.

In addition to the defibrillation carried out by the rangers, data collected during Rob’s treatment that morning assisted in determining the possible cause of the arrest and his subsequent treatment at the University Hospital of South Manchester enabling Rob to return home to his family for Christmas Day.

For several years Tatton has had a number of defibrillator machines and all rangers and other Tatton staff are trained to use them. Training is updated annually to ensure staff are able to deal with conditions such as Robs immediately and correctly.

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust. The Council’s health and safety policies include staff training in the use of defibrillators. Cheshire East has defibrillators at its leisure facilities across the Borough, Tatton Park, and at the Council’s offices at: Westfields, Sandbach; Delamere House, Crewe; the Municipal Buildings, Crewe; Dalton House, Middlewich; and Macclesfield Town Hall. North West Ambulance Service provided 19 automated external defibrillators (AED) units to Cheshire East Council in 2012, to supplement its existing units at Tatton and Westfields, to be on hand should any medical emergencies arise at its facilities.

Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “These Council rangers have reacted superbly and very professionally in a life-or-death situation and saved Mr Harwood’s life. The result is that this victim of a cardiac arrest was able to survive and spend Christmas with his family – you don’t get a better gift at Christmas than that. I am really proud of Mark and Adrian’s actions  – and it just goes to show the importance of Cheshire East’s defibrillators and having staff fully trained in their use. Well done to both Mark and Adrian, and to Mr Wolfson – and my sincere wishes for a full recovery to Mr Harwood.”

Dr Ben Brown, Consultant Cardiologist/Electrophysiologist at University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) said; “This is a real success story.  If it were not for the swift action of Mark, Adrian and Robbie it could have been very different.  The quick thinking they showed not only saved Rob's life but has resulted in him making a full recovery and walking home from hospital.  This highlights the importance of having both equipment and trained personnel in the community. Congratulations to them both and best wishes to Rob from all at UHSM.”

Rob is an active cyclist who often visits Tatton Park on his bike from his home in Great Warford. He is now recovering at home having spent Christmas with his wife and three teenage children. He is planning a cycle ride with Robbie as soon as possible.

For further information about this release contact:

Vicky Wilby, Marketing Department                                                         

Tel: 01625 374447 / Email: vicky.wilby@cheshireeast.gov.uk



Heartstart is supported by the cardiac re-hab centre at University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and is affiliated to The British Heart Foundation who generously provided the initial equipment needed to start the scheme. Further information about courses can be found by contacting Adrian Rees:adrianrees@heartstartknutsford.co.uk, Telephone 01565 631324, 07501 128571

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.

This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 850,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its Georgian mansion, Tudor Old Hall, award- winning gardens and 1930s rare breeds farm.  The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, Gardener’s Cottage tea room and year-round events programme.