Stuart Ritchie is a sixty-eight-year-old resident of Pinar de Campoverde in the South of the Alicante region of Spain. He resides with his wife Maureen and has had no health issues for decades. He certainly had no warning of what was to happen to him on the afternoon of Thursday the 24th of May 2018.
Stuart is a key member of the Portobello Bar Walking Football Club in Alicante. On Saturday the 19th of May 2018 he played for his team as he has many times before, helping them reach a tournament final for the very first time.
The football team had made a decision last year to use some of their funds to purchase a defibrillator as they realised the inherent dangers of elderly men pushing their stamina to the limit whilst playing Walking Football.
When halftime was announced, the team went to take on some water, Stuart being one of them. He reached an area off the pitch where he collapsed. His head hit the ground and his fellow players rushed to his side.
One of the people present on that day was Lorraine Connor, an ex-nurse. Lorraine, right, had been refereeing the game. Recognising the signs, Lorraine sprang into action. Stuart was not breathing and did not have a pulse or a heartbeat. She demanded that the defibrillator be brought over to her and commenced CPR while team members Kevin Leonard provided mouth-to-mouth and Steven Howarth used the defibrillator. While all this was happening, Dave Lock requested an ambulance.
Since Stuart’s life has been saved and is recovering, the team at Portobello Bar Walking Football Club has been awarded with life-saver awards to recognise their life-saving achievements.