Home Coronavirus: Help and support Quick thinking saves man’s life at Knowsley leisure centre
Peter Ventre and Volair staff

Quick thinking saves man’s life at Knowsley leisure centre

by Gemma Melling

Quick thinking staff at a Knowsley leisure centre saved the life of a father-of-three who collapsed during a game of badminton last month.

Teammates of 63-year-old Peter Ventre raised the alarm with Volair staff at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park. They quickly came to his aid, performing CPR and using the centre’s defibrillator to save his life.

Staff training in emergency first aid and use of the centre’s defibrillator really made the difference between life and death for Peter, a regular centre user from Huyton. Volair staff Peter Cox and Julie Higham were first on the scene, making the decision to carry out lifesaving CPR on Mr Ventre. Facility manager Jay Jones then fetched the centre’s defibrillator and used it on the patient, shocking him back to life before ambulance crews arrived.

Jay said: “We’ve had defibrillators in all Volair’s centres for around six years, which have been used on a number of occasions. Through our ongoing training gives the staff the knowledge and confidence to deliver invaluable lifesaving skills.”

Extra assistance was also on hand in the centre at time, with staff from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in the building at the time, running their regular cardiac rehab programme. Lisa Devitt from the hospital was on hand to help support Peter Cox deliver CPR and offer advice to staff.

An ambulance arrived quickly on the scene and Peter underwent surgery to have two stents fitted. Doctors said he was lucky to be alive and that the quick actions of those around him had undoubtedly helped him make the remarkable recovery that he has.

Peter is a regular visitor to Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park, having been referred onto the Activity for LIFE exercise referral programme more than eight years ago, due to poor health and being overweight. After completing the 12 week programme, Peter was hooked on a new healthier lifestyle and now exercises in the centre most days.

Now he is taking part in the same cardiac rehab programme, run by Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, that was meeting at the centre on the day he collapsed. He says he cannot wait to get back to his regular visits to the centre, where he has become extremely well known and liked by staff and other centre users alike.

In fact, one of the first things Peter did as soon as he was well enough, was go straight to Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park to say a personal thank you to the staff who helped save his life.

Peter said: “I cannot thank all the team enough who were involved for the quick and invaluable lifesaving techniques, equipment and overall passion to save my life for which I will be eternally grateful.”

“I’ve made a great number of friends through exercising at the centre over the past few years, and it’s been a really big part of my life. So I’m looking forward to getting back to normal as quickly as I can.”

Jay Jones said: “We’re all just so thrilled that we were able to help Peter and that he is now on the road to a full recovery. I am very proud of my team at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park. It was lovely that Peter took the time to come and say thank you – and it’s really reminded us of the importance of always being prepared and the importance of team work as you never know when an emergency is going to happen.”

Pictured above are Peter Ventre, centre, with Volair’s Peter Cox (left) and Jay Jones (right).