HEALTH BOOST: Coaches Matthew Barber and Paul Davis receive the portable defibrillator and first aid kits from Iris Hillery, secretary of the Friends of Richardson Hospital, and Dr Ian Blain, an A&E consultant at The James Cook University Hospital who als
HEALTH BOOST: Coaches Matthew Barber and Paul Davis receive the portable defibrillator and first aid kits from Iris Hillery, secretary of the Friends of Richardson Hospital, and Dr Ian Blain, an A&E consultant at The James Cook University Hospital who als

THE plight of two rugby coaches who suffered heart attacks within weeks of each other has resulted in the purchase of lifesaving equipment.

Paul Davis, who coaches the girls and ladies at Barnard Castle RUFC was taken ill last October.

A couple of weeks later, second team coach Matthew Barber suffered similar health problems.

Fortunately, both are now on the road to recovery and both use the cardiac rehabilitation clinic at the Richardson Hospital.

Mr Davis, 44, from Barnard Castle, said their health problems had led to a redoubling of efforts to provide a defibrillator for the club.

He said other officials had already begun working towards getting a heart start machine for the club.

“After I had my heart attack, I looked at funding for a defibrillator.”

The Friends of Richardson Hospital – who have already contributed towards fixed machines at the Parish Hall, in Newgate, Barnard Castle, and Cotherstone – stepped in to help the rugby club buy a portable defibrillator.

Sage Wealth MPU

This means the £750 piece of equipment can be taken down to the Demesnes on match day and during training sessions.

“Not only do we have the senior sides, but we have the junior teams whose parents and grand parents come along,” added Mr Davis.

He has now been given the “green light” following his health scare and said he aims to play rugby again.

In addition to the defibrillator, two first aid kits have also been provided for the club’s Gatorz – the girls and ladies team.

Iris Hillery, secretary of the Friends of Richardson Hospital, said the group was happy to help out.

“We have a community fund and we try to support things in the community,” she said.

“That is the way health care is going and we buy things that are going to be used out in the community.”