A defibrillator donated to comedian Paul Ego's local tennis club was used to save the life of a young groom-to-be just days after it was installed.
Ngataringa Tennis Club in Auckland's Stanley Bay had the device installed on March 21 and four days later a man was sprinting across the field with it in an effort to save a life.
Club president Gary Sudgen said a 33-year-old man on his stag-do collapsed while playing Zorb soccer on the Navy fields last Saturday afternoon.
"Purely by a chance a couple of locals happened to be in the park at the time and knew there was a defibrillator in the club," he said.
One of them sprinted about 500m to the club and grabbed the device from the cabinet on the outside of the building.
By the time they made it back someone was doing CPR but the situation was not looking good.
"Apparently he was pretty purple," Sudgen said.
"Without it I don't think he would have survived."
Midweek convenor Lisa McCloskey was in the middle of a tennis match when the man ran over asking for the defibrillator.
She dropped her racquet and followed so she could share what she had learnt at the training.
"I just yelled what I remembered which was, take his clothes off, put the pads on and listen to the instructions.
"It was very scary. My heart's racing still and I get teary still."
He was defibrillated a couple of times before paramedics arrived and she believed they had to shock him again.
By the time they left to take him to hospital, the man was breathing and conscious.
The club had been fundraising for a defibrillator but thanks to Ego, whose wife Janine is a club member, they were able to get the device sooner.
Heart Saver, an organisation which sells Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), offered to donate one of the devices to a club or school of Ego's choice after he did some promotional work for them so he chose the tennis club.
Heart Saver managing director Mike Mander said the man was lucky the device had just been installed and said it highlighted how "imperative" it was to have them everywhere the public were.
"The chance of cardiac arrest doubles during exercise so it's a no brainer that they should have an AED handy," he said.
Ego said the cause had been close to his heart since his wife had a cardiac arrest when she was 30.
"At the time she had it we were at home and I was watching the cardiac arrest unfold and I wasn't sure what was happening. I called St John and she was talking to them when she had a cardiac arrest.
"If they hadn't been there and had an AED in their car she wouldn't be here," he said.
It was important for clubs and businesses to have the devices handy because it could happen to anyone at any time, he said.
"I think it should be like a fire extinguisher - just something on the wall to grab."
Signs of cardiac arrest
-The person is on the ground unconscious
-They are not breathing and have turned blue
-There are no signs of life
-In the early stages they could be gasping for breath or having a seizure
Source: Heart Saver managing director Mike Mander