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Club Doncaster Foundation gym team help save the life of grandfather after heart attack

09 February 2023

The dramatic efforts of Club Doncaster Foundation gym staff and users to save the life of a grandfather is featured in the next episode of Helicopter ER - the reality TV series featuring the work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Only one in ten people survive a cardiac arrest outside hospital. When the 69-year-old suffered a massive heart attack during a Fit Rovers session at the Eco-Power Stadium, gym staff and bystanders used a defibrillator and performed CPR for more than 10 minutes before emergency services arrived.

Their actions saved the life of the critically ill man who was placed in a medically induced coma at the scene by a Yorkshire Air Ambulance doctor before being rushed to hospital where he was fitted with a pacemaker.

Club Doncaster Foundation members have since raised money to buy a fourth defibrillator which can be used when visiting the charity’s community venues.

Foundation CEO John Davis said: “I was there and was incredibly proud of the way the team responded and dealt with what was a very dramatic event afterwards.

“I’d also like to thank the quick response and professional work of the emergency services, including Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which meant our Fit Rovers user got the vital care he needed on the scene.

“It really brought home the value of CPR training and having accessible, life saving equipment. We were delighted that as a result of what happened the Foundation raised enough funds to buy another mobile defibrillator which our teams are now using in community venues across Doncaster.

The dramatic story features in Friday’s episode of Helicopter ER, made by Air TV for Warner Brothers Discovery, which follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

The programme, which airs on Quest at 9pm, also features a man who was struck on the head by a falling tree, a pensioner who fell off a ladder and a cyclist who came off his bike at speed.

Serving a population of approximately five million people across Yorkshire’s four million acres, YAA operates two air ambulances from airbases at The Nostell Priory Estate near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk plus two Rapid Response Vehicles.

The rapid response air emergency service relies totally on public donations and fundraising to keep saving lives. To find out more go to

Club Doncaster Foundation gym team help save the life of grandfather after heart attack