Hero of 10th hole: Golfer saves fellow player

Gordon Robertson acted quickly to save life. Picture: George McLuskie
Gordon Robertson acted quickly to save life. Picture: George McLuskie
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A HERO golfer has described how he saved the life of another player by giving him CPR at the 10th hole until paramedics 

Gordon Robertson was enjoying a round of golf with his two friends when he saw a commotion on a nearby green.

Two holes ahead, a 71-year-old player had suffered a heart 
attack and collapsed, on the 
10th green at Leven Thistle Golf Club in Fife. He had stopped breathing and had begun to turn blue.

Mr Robertson, who is first-aid trained, went to find out what the problem was. “I was on the eighth hole and I noticed a commotion up ahead,” he said.

“When I walked over there was a man lying on the green and his friend was holding his legs in the air. I could see the man was in a lot of trouble. I couldn’t find a heartbeat and he was gasping for air. He’d already started to turn blue.”

The 53-year-old, who works at Diageo in Leven as a site assurance officer, said he remained calm: “I was a bit shocked at first because he was just staring into space. However, I knelt down and started going with the CPR. As part of my job, I’ve been first-aid trained so I knew what I was doing.”

Mr Robertson said that it was at least 15 minutes until he noticed a change in the pensioner. “I could eventually see the colour draining back into his face which was a huge relief but he was still in a very serious condition,” he added.

The emergency services then arrived and took over. However, they asked Mr Robertson to carry on giving CPR while they got a defibrillator ready as he was doing such a good job.

He said: “After that, he was taken by ambulance to hospital. I then went back to playing golf with my friends. I think I was on autopilot after that. I had done CPR on a dummy for my training but this had been so, so different.”

A day later, Mr Robertson visited the victim in Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. “He was sitting on a chair in the high-dependency unit. He looked very frail but he was alive. I was slightly worried that I broke his rib when I did the CPR but the nurse reassured me that I hadn’t – and that I had done it just right.”

Mr Robertson, who lives in Buckhaven, in Leven, with his wife Donna and daughter Ellie, and has two step-children, Tammy and Samantha, said it was fantastic to see him alive.

“I felt happy then with myself for what I had done. It really hit home seeing him there. I think my own family are quite proud of me, too.”

He was also introduced to the man’s family. “They all thanked me for saving his life. That was a good feeling. It goes to show how easy it is to save a life.”

Mr Robertson said he planned to stay in touch with the man, who does not want to be identified. He added: “I knew him as we were both members at the golf club, but of course I know him slightly better now.”

Since the incident, Leven Thistle Golf Club has now decided to buy defibrillators to place around the course to help people who suffer from heart problems. The club is working with The Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign 2014, which is aiming to provide 2,500 defibrillators at golf clubs.