A CRICKETER saved a rival player’s life who had stopped breathing after being hit by a ball to the chest.
Jamie Bristow-Diamond was playing for Bexhill when Lewes Priory batsman David Tungate collapsed at the crease.
Initially the players thought he was just winded but it soon became obvious the 17-year-old’s injuries were far more severe and quick-thinking Jamie stepped in.
The 19-year-old, from Harbour Way, St Leonards, had been taught CPR while working as a lifeguard at Summerfields Leisure Centre in Bohemia Road and quickly took over from first-on-the-scene Hamish Russell.
Speaking to the Observer, Jamie explained: “I was just sat down on the grass because we thought he may have just fainted or something.
“Then someone shouted that he had stopped breathing and I just ran over.
“Hamish was trying to resucitate him and I decided to try CPR, chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth. I was taught it when I was a lifeguard but this was the first time I had actually had to do it.
“Practising on a dummy is nowhere near the reality of a real body.”
Desperate to keep the teenager victim alive while the players waited for an ambulance to arrive, Jamie battled on - with his instincts kicking in.
“At one point I felt him stop breathing,” he said. “People around me began to say he was dead but I just carried on and eventually he came back.
“I tried to block out everything that was happening around me and just concentrate on what was happening in front of me.”
“He started breathing again but I could feel his heart was beating slowly.
“When the ambulance arrived I felt relieved that someone more qualified could come and help him. It was a real team effort with Hamish.”
The batsman was helicoptered to a specialist cardiac unit at the William Harvey hospital in Ashford and subsequent tests showed the force of the ball hitting him below his ribs had triggered a heart arrhythmia.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said it was largely due to Jamie and Hamish’s efforts that he survived and it was a sentiment echoed by David’s Lewes Priory team mate Michael Murray who said the youngster had no recollection of what happened but was making a good recovery.
He said: “Without their prompt action I dread to think what the outcome would have been.”
As for Jamie? Well, he has exams to think about. He is currently studying sport coaching at the University of Brighton and has exams next week but hopes to find time to see David face-to-face.
“I’d like to meet him, play cricket with him again – and maybe go for a drink.”