‘A defibrillator helped save my husband’s life, now I’m fundraising for more’

Michael Pengelly collapsed while playing five-a-sideMichael Pengelly collapsed while playing five-a-side
Michael Pengelly collapsed while playing five-a-side
The wife of a footballer whose life was saved by a defibrillator is campaigning for more of the devices to be available.

Michael Pengelly collapsed while playing five a side football at Sharnbrook sports centre in March.

While desperate teammates carried out CPR, the centre’s defibrillator was tracked down and ‘shocked’ Michael until paramedics arrived.

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Wife Sam was at her Rushden home with their two children when Michael’s teammate Johnny Abruzzese turned up to say he had been taken to hospital.

"I’m so grateful to the people around him and the defibrillator being there,” said Sam. “The guys that saved his life are heroes to me.

"Michael had just come out of goal and Johnny heard this thud and turned round to see Michael on the floor.

"There was no pulse, no breathing or anything. Johnny and his teammates did CPR and a staff member from Sharnbrook brought out the defibrillator. If it hadn’t been there he would have been dead. It saved his life.”

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The 54-year-old, who has played football for most of his life, did not have a history of heart trouble and regularly played squash and golf. He and Johnny had set up the five a side football team around five years ago, in a bid to stay fit.

*It was just a bunch of middle aged men who play football for pure sport,” said Sam.

“His teammates were quite traumatised and they are all getting health checks now.

"It was a very happy outcome from a very traumatic set of circumstances.”

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Doctors at Bedford Hospital found the electrical engineer had a blocked artery and fitted a stent. He is now recovering at home. "He’s always been a fit person and he’s hoping to get back to football,” said Sam.

Sam, who works as a teaching assistant, and Michael celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this year.

“I feel very passionately about de-fib machines being readily available and am currently raising money to buy one for my community,” said Sam.

And so far her GoFundMe page has beaten her target of £2,000 and is still rising.

To find out how you can support the campaign go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/hazelwood-defibrillator

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