Bravery awards for hero golfer and staff at Whaleback Golf Course

2 November 2020

A day on the green turned into an emergency at Whaleback Golf Course when a golfer, John, collapsed on the course. 

Greg Chapman was enjoying a spur-of-the-moment game when he got caught up in the incident. “I’d just dropped the kids off at school and at the last minute decided to go for a game of golf,” recalls Greg. “I was at the third hole when I heard some people calling for help from nearby. I ran over and saw this man going blue; the adrenalin kicked in and I started performing CPR.”

Staff had also heard the commotion, and Kieran Doyle raced over to help. Groundskeeper Isaac Brophy grabbed a defibrillator and ran to the location, where Kieran set it up and attached it to John. Three shocks were administered in between rounds of CPR. Meanwhile, Donna Crouch had phoned for an ambulance, and made her way to the group where she assisted with the rescue and provided support for other patrons who had witnessed the event. 

“We kept going with the CPR and defib until the paramedics arrived and then they took over,” says Greg. “They gave him a shot of something, I think it was adrenaline, and suddenly he started breathing. I was a bit in shock then thinking, wow, what just happened? Then after about 15 or 20 minutes I went and continued my game of golf and I parred the next six holes!”

Despite being humble about his role in saving John, Greg received a Gold Medallion Bravery Award for his efforts. “I’m really pleased with the outcome and that I was able to help John," he says. "I just ended up being in the right place at the right time. I’d had basic first aid training, so I knew how to do CPR, but really just hoped I was doing the right thing.”

Kieran also received a Gold Medallion Bravery Award, and Isaac and Donna both received Bravery Commendations for their help during the incident. They had only recently undertaken first aid training, and the AED had just been installed the previous year – so John was a very lucky man that day!

“John and I caught up recently for the first time,” says Greg. “We had a game of golf at the place where it happened and I had to explain it all to him because he had no recollection of anything. It was great to see him and I think we’ll have a life-long bond really.”

Do you know someone who has responded in an emergency to save a life? Nominate them for a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award at the link below.

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