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08 March 2023
London Hearts are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with MP99 Remember The Name to help provide every sports referee in the country with a lifesaving defibrillator and prompt much needed change to pitch-side medical support.
On 25th February 2023, Michael Palmer, 23, collapsed and tragically died on the pitch at Crowland FC after suffering a cardiac arrest. Sadly, despite what so many people did to help, there was no defibrillator pitch side and took 8 minutes for a defibrillator to be obtained in the area.
Defibrillators (also known as AEDs - Automatic External Defibrillators) are medical devices that help and support a patient in cardiac arrest. In fact, they are the ONLY devices that can help when someone has a cardiac arrest. If a heart defibrillator is used within 3-5mins of a cardiac arrest, the chances of survival increases from 6% to a huge 74%.
Michael’s dad, Mike, along with Keeley Cole of Crowland FC set up a crowdfunding page in Michaels memory, to raise money towards mobile defibrillators for local sports teams in Lincolnshire, which can be taken to every game they attend whether that be football, rugby, tennis, cricket etc.
But what started with the target of £2,000 has now generated into over an incredible £12,000 in donations due to the amount of local support the family has received.
His family said the young man, who was from Holbeach, "loved his friends, his family, and his colleagues", with there being an outpouring of love since his passing.
"With a strong sense of duty, Michael wanted the best for those around him, and nothing was too much to ask.
Michael, who also played for Whaplode Drove Rovers, was a fan of Manchester United which was his "first love".
"It is therefore fitting that Michael's passing, notwithstanding the pain for those he leaves behind, was on the grassy velvet of the football pitch he so adored," the statement added.
London Hearts, the leading heart defibrillator charity in the UK, were moved by Michaels story and instantly offered their support to get this initiative in motion. With the help of our charity grant funding, we want to ensure that referee's obtain high quality defibrillator equipment and that they have access to online defibrillator awareness training.
There are unfortunately more than 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests across the UK every year and survival rates are extremely poor – only around 3%. But with timely intervention and the added benefit of a defibrillator (AED), we can save the lives of up to 50% or even more.
In addition to funding mobile defibrillators to sports clubs across the UK, MP99 Remember The Name plan to launch an extensive training programme for sports clubs and referee's so more people can potentially step in and save a life.
London Hearts are beyond honoured that we can help supply such lifesaving equipment to support MP99 Remember The Name and assist Michael's family spread awareness of pitch side defibrillators and sudden cardiac arrest.
Michael was a man of fervour and commitment, but with humility and confidence in equal measure, and a friend, coach and mentor to many. His passing will leave a void that can never be filled but we hope it's a small comfort to Mike and his family to know that by providing referees with this essential equipment, we can save lives and make Michael proud.
"Michael's loss will be forever felt, and as our hurt fades to scars, his light will shine the brightest in our galaxy of stars. And though we will move forward, we can take solace in our pain, that Michael will never be forgotten, and we will all remember his name."
You can support this initiative by donating to Mike’s Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/michael-palmer-mp99
If you are in the Lincolnshire area and are interested in CPR and defibrillator awareness training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone wishing to receive a defibrillator for their sports club, please email Mike.email@example.com