Family thanks club with defibrillator

Fraserburgh Rugby Club are presented with their own defibrillator from the family of Chris Arnott
Fraserburgh Rugby Club are presented with their own defibrillator from the family of Chris Arnott

Fraserburgh Rugby Club has been presented with a portable defibrillator thanks to the family of one of its former players whose life was saved on the pitch by one of the devices.

Chris Arnott (33) was taking part in a training session with the club on August 30 when he suddenly collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest.

His heart had stopped beating for seven minutes but his life was saved thanks to the quick actions of his team mates. Dubbed ‘The Fantastic Four’, team mates Andy Kewley, Robbie McMillan, Jordan Tijou and Colin Cooper rushed to Chris’ aid by calling the emergency services, carrying out chest compressions and using the defibrillator located inside Fraserburgh Fitness Centre to get his heart beating again.

Chris was taken to hospital to recover and had an internal defibrillator fitted.

After four weeks he was released and visited James Ramsey Park on Saturday, October 6, to thank his team mates while his family presented Fraserburgh Rugby Club with their own life-saving device.

The defibrillator was purchased by Kelar Cleaning, the family-run business owned by Chris’ sister, Claire Kelman.

Speaking to the Herald Claire said: “We are absolutely delighted to present the defibrillator to the club and we are happy to be in the position to help.

“We hope that it can help more people and because it is portable the club can bring it to other communities that may not have one.

“We are glad to have it but we hope that no one needs to use it.”

Reflecting on the incident Chris said: “I couldn’t be more thankful for the camaraderie of my rugby family and their spirit to not panic, deal with it and for them to have been there.

“There is no doubt that their actions saved my life and I am very thankful.”

He added: “I’m thankful to have the new defibrillator here should something like this ever happen again.”

Chris has had to retire from playing rugby but he doesn’t want to let that stop him from being part of the team as he explained: “Although I can’t be there with them to play I can be with them in other ways.

“I’ve played a lot of rugby in my time but for now becoming a social member looks good.”

Chris’ wife Dawn also attended the presentation.

She said: “If it wasn’t for the four guys I wouldn’t have my husband and the father to our two kids, saying thank you just isn’t enough.”

The team received a heartfelt thank you from Chris’ parents, Karen and Alan.

They said: “We are very humble as a family for what they did and through our family business we have donated a defibrillator for them. We are so grateful for what they did.”