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Watch | How Sue's CPR training saved fellow Hatter Paul's life

21 March 2024

Club News

Watch | How Sue's CPR training saved fellow Hatter Paul's life

21 March 2024

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When Paul Rodell started his walk up Kenilworth Road to attend the Chelsea game at the end of December, little did he know that within moments he would be relying on a fellow Luton Town supporter to save his life.

Just two weeks after our captain, Tom Lockyer, had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at Bournemouth, 80-year-old Paul collapsed due to the same issue.

While Locks had heroes in waiting at the Vitality Stadium, with the Town, Cherries and local medics rightly hailed at the rescheduled match last Wednesday, Paul had his own saviour making her way along the same route.

Sue Collins, an off-duty Senior Resuscitation Nurse Practitioner at Bedford Hospital, was walking closely behind him and immediately set to work to perform CPR while sending her husband Andy off to find a defibrillator and daughter Rosie to call an ambulance.

Earlier this week we brought them together at the Kenny, and Paul said: “There are no words that I can think of that can adequately explain how I feel. I’m so lucky to be sitting here with the person who saved my life.”

Sue, a Hatters member who only found out she had a ticket on the Thursday night before the game, added: “I just did what was natural to me, but the one good thing to come out of this and the Tom Lockyer story is for people to learn CPR.

“The 15-minute RevivR video on the British Heart Foundation website is brilliant. That one person who learns CPR from it, that just might happen to walk behind someone who collapses, as I did with Paul, could save a life.”

While Paul is thankfully back attending matches now, he gave his season ticket seat to Sue to sit alongside his son, Steve, and grandson Freddie, for a few games while he recovered.

“I feel really emotional being here,” added Sue, “and when Lisa (McEvoy, LTFC fan engagement officer) first rang to tell me Paul had survived, I did cry. I feel like we are part of the same family now.”

Also present at Kenilworth Road was fellow Hatter Ollie Kay, the We Are Luton Town podcast host who set up a fans’ fundraising page that raised over £3,000 to pay for a Lockyer Tifo – as seen at Bournemouth last week – and two potentially life-saving defibrillators to be positioned outside the ground.

At Bournemouth, Hatters fans unfurl the Tom Lockyer tifo paid for by supporters' fundraising

Those defibrillators are situated outside the Ticket Office at the top of Oak Road, and on the Kenilworth Apron in order that they are accessible to the local community 24/7, should the need arise.

“After Tom Lockyer had his incident, I got in touch with the club pretty much straight away to see if we could raise money for a crowd-surfing banner, set up the GoFundMe page, I put £20 in at midnight and then woke up to find that we had smashed the target,” said Ollie.

“We had discussions about what to do with the extra money and talked about buying defibrillators for here at Kenilworth Road and crucially outside the ground, so they can serve the local community.

“Times are hard for so many people and there are so many great fundraisers going on, like Mark Crowther’s cycle challenges and the LTST, so for Luton Town fans to put their hands in their pockets again is fantastic.”


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