“It’s not every day you save someone’s life using a defibrillator“

The life-saving intervention of a heroic greenkeeper has inspired North Berwick Golf Club to install a second defibrillator

Our Drive for Defibs campaign is brought to you in association with Motocaddy

Liam Nicholson doesn’t consider himself to be a hero. But Gordon Moodie, a member at North Berwick Golf Club, says he owes his life to the quick-thinking greenkeeper who came to his rescue when he suffered a cardiac arrest in a senior’s away match at Gullane late last year. 

For 20 minutes, Liam performed life-saving CPR on Gordon and was able to restart his heart using one of three automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at the club, which he brought with him from the greenkeeper’s shed. He was later told by paramedics that without his swift intervention and foresight, Gordon would likely not have survived.

RELATED: What is the Drive for Defibs campaign?

“It didn’t really sink in until I was travelling home from work,” says Liam, who has worked at Gullane in East Lothian for the last 16 years. “I mean, it’s not every day you save someone’s life.

“I had never used my first aid training before so I was like, please remember what to do. Every single thought was running through my head but once the adrenaline kicked in, it all came naturally to me.

“One shock was enough to get him breathing again and then the defib was talking to me and giving me the beats to follow to do the chest compressions while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. I felt like I was doing it for a lifetime, but it kept him alive which I guess shows how massively important CPR and defibrillators are.”

Gordon Moodie's life was saved by greenkeeper Liam Nicholson

Just as importantly, Liam’s actions have helped to keep a family together and inspire change elsewhere. Gordon is now back playing golf again at North Berwick Golf Club, where they’ve spent around £2,000 on purchasing a second AED to provide life-saving support should any golfers require emergency assistance at the far end of the course. As a further safety measure, they have also trained 14 members of staff in first aid, including the use of AEDs.

“I am very pleased to see the club install a new defibrillator,” says Gordon, who was on hand for the installation. “The club has had one for a number of years, but it’s almost two miles away from this new location. So, if anyone does have a cardiac arrest or similar out here, this defibrillator would be close at hand, and hopefully reached in time to do the necessary and help save lives. 

“My own life was saved on a golf course because there was a defibrillator brought out to where I was very quickly, and because the greenkeepers all had training in how to use of them. That made all the difference for me.” 

Gordon and Liam are now urging more golf clubs to train their staff and members in CPR and to place defibrillators around the course in the event of an emergency.

“You can’t wait until something goes horribly wrong,” says Liam. “I’m glad North Berwick have realised that they needed a second defibrillator, but there’s a lot of other golf clubs out there that don’t even have one. That needs to change because without one, I probably wouldn’t have been able to save Gordon’s life.”

If you’ve got a story that you’d like to be told, you’re hosting a fundraising event inspired by our campaign, or your golf club has recently installed a defibrillator, get in touch with us, here.

Motocaddy’s GPS app, which includes CPR guidance, AED locator and emergency contacts, is free to download on iOS and Android devices from the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

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About the author

Today's Golfer features editor Michael Catling.

Michael Catling – Features Editor

Michael Catling is Today’s Golfer‘s Features Editor and an award-winning journalist who specializes in golf’s Majors and Tours, including DP World, PGA, LPGA, and LIV.

Michael joined Today’s Golfer in 2016 and has traveled the world to attend the game’s biggest events and secure exclusive interviews with dozens of Major champions, including Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Gary Player, and Justin Thomas.

A former member of Ufford Park and Burghley Park, Michael has been playing golf since he was 11 and currently plays off a handicap of 10.

Away from golf he’s a keen amateur chef and has his own healthy recipes website. He also loves playing squash, going to the gym, and following Chelsea FC.

Michael uses a Ping G driverPing G 3-woodPing G Crossover 3-ironPing G Series irons (4-PW), Ping Glide wedges (52º, 56º, 60º), TaylorMade MySpider Tour Putter, and Srixon AD333 golf ball.

Get in touch with Michael via email and follow him on Twitter.

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