A FATHER has told how his life was saved by his son’s football referee after his heart stopped beating for 25 minutes on the pitch sidelines.

Allan Easdale was watching Kyle, then 14, in a youth tournament on Easter Monday when he suffered a cardiac arrest and slumped to the ground next to panic-stricken wife Hazel.

Luckily for Allan, the man refereeing the match was Ewan Hamilton, a 20-year-old Glasgow medical student who had learned CPR a week earlier.

Ewan single-handedly performed chest compressions for an exhausting 25 minutes before the ambulance arrived. Allan was shocked five times with a defibrillator before he opened his eyes and said: “Where am I?”

Read more: Every Scottish pupil to be taught life-saving CPR 

Allan said: “It took courage to do what Ewan did. It’s a proper save a life story. I shudder to think what would have happened if he hadn’t been there.”

Ewan, who now works as a consultant in emergency medicine at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, said the experience meant more to him than all his medical achievements in the years after.

Glasgow Times:

He recalled how the force of the compressions left a bruise in the exact shape of his palm on Allan’s chest.

The near death experience happened in 2011 at football pitches in Grangemouth where Ewan, then studying at Glasgow University, was refereeing.

Read more: Glasgow first city in UK to roll out CPR lessons to all pupils 

Ewan, 28, who lives in Dennistoun, said: “I had just finished the game and the co-ordinator of the tournament was looking very concerned. He said there was someone very sick on the pitches.

“I ran across and found the two first aiders, who were slightly older and were doing CPR and offered to help.

“They were doing a really good job but they were doing the old school CPR of 15 compressions to two breaths rather than 30 to two and were pretty tired,

“I started CPR and one of them did mouth to mouth. At the time, I was young and fit. I didn’t really think much about it but nowadays, I probably couldn’t do that again.

Glasgow Times:

“CPR is really a two or three person job but the adrenaline was coursing through me. Hazel, Allan’s wife was there, holding onto him.

“It was the first time I had done CPR, even though I had been trained in basic life support at medical school but no more than what the general public get.

“It was proper ER style as we got into the ambulance. They were shocking him as I was doing CPR.

Read more: Survival rates from cardiac arrest triple after mandatory CPR lessons in Denmark

“We were about 15 minutes away from the hospital and the ambulance crew had to brake very suddenly because a car wouldn’t get out of the way and at that point Allan opened his eyes and said ‘Where am I?

“That was really quite a moment for me. I’ve done lots of things in my career now but at that point I was a 20 year old lad. At the time I was quite blase but when I look back now I get quite emotional.

“When we got to hospital he was sitting up. You wouldn’t have known anything had happened to him.

“On his chest, was a bruise which was the exact shape of my palm from the compressions. Since then we have kept in touch.

“I’m an emergency doctor and I see a lot of cardiac arrests and I see a lot of people losing their lives.

“Not a lot gets me but this gets me.”

Glasgow Times:

Allan, 54, from Denny, who is married to Hazel, 43 and also has a 33-year-old daughter Natalie, 33, had been diagnosed with Long QT syndrome a few years earlier, a rare and inherited heart rhythm problem where the heart muscle takes longer than normal to recharge between beats.

Allan, who works for inland revenue in Glasgow, said: “The doctors said it was so low risk that it wouldn’t affect anything.

“It was an Easter Monday that it happened so that date will be etched in my mind for ever.

“The first thing I remember about that day is being in the ambulance.

“I remember that Ewan asked me my name and I told him.

“If he hadn’t been there I shudder to think what could have happened.

“It’s a proper save a life story. Ewan was only 20 at the time. He could quite easily have stayed where he was.

“He had only just learned CPR. It all fit together like a jigsaw.

“It took courage to do what he did. He just raced over without a second thought.

“The ambulance went to the wrong pitch. It wasn’t their fault, there are two pitches but it was about 20-25 minutes before it arrived.

“They shocked me five times. It’s a miracle but not in the biblical sense.

“They took my son aside but he knew it was me on the ground because he recognised my trainers.”

Allan now has an ICD fitted and takes beta blocker medication and says that despite “the odd moment” he has remained in good health and the pair have remained close.

Ewan, who now works at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, has welcomed the announcement that all schools in Scotland will now teach pupils CPR.

He said: “To me, it’s long overdue. It’s a very easy skill to learn.”