On Saturday 25th February, Michael Palmer (23) tragically collapsed and lost his life following a cardiac arrest while playing for Crowland Town Reserves FC in a match against Leverington Town Reserves FC. Attempts were made to save Michael, but he sadly never regained consciousness.
Tributes have flooded in for Michael, and his family hope more can be done to prevent this from happening again. They have set up a Crowdfunding page to purchase mobile defibrillators for local football teams that can be taken pitch side.
Having set an initial target of £2,000 to purchase two defibrillator, the appeal has outstandingly raised nearly £12,500 at the time of writing, donated by 449 generous supporters.
Michael's dad, Mike Palmer, is determined to help make a difference after the difficulties faced getting a defibrillator when his son collapsed. He wrote:
"I was speaking to the young man that ran the significant distance to unlock the NHS defibrillator. He informed me that when he rang 999, he was given the wrong code for the machine, three times. This should never happen and cannot happen again. Distance aside, the time taken to enter the wrong codes, and for emergency service to get the code, was valuable lost time for Michael."
The funding raised could be the difference to saving a life should the worst happen.
Nick Hanson, CEO of Lincolnshire FA, visited Crowland Town FC last Saturday to meet family and friends of Michael and to pass on personal condolences on behalf of all at Lincolnshire FA. He said:
“At the Lincolnshire FA, we fully recognise how important football is for bringing people and communities together. We are proud of how the football family have come together to support Michael’s family, friends, and teammates. We have been amazed at the generosity people and clubs have shown.”
To donate to the fundraiser in memory of Michael Palmer, please click below and donate what you can for this inspirational and life changing cause:
Clubs are also able to access the Premier League Defibrillator Fund, which aims to support the installation of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and External Storage Cabinets at thousands of grassroots football facilities currently without an easily accessible device on site. The Fund will see more than 2000 sites benefit from this investment. Once installed, the AEDs will be accessible, if required, to an estimated 1.5m people that use these facilities per season. To see if your club is eligible for this fund, click here.
The British Heart Foundation, Lincolnshire FA’s dedicated charity partner, encourages everyone to become aware of where your nearest defib is in relation to your local football facilities – which can be done by using the ‘Defib Finder’ tool here.
Graeme Souness has recently called on fans across the country to unite in a campaign to learn lifesaving CPR, which could be a game changer for survival rates, during the length of a half time interval. Souness, who is a British Heart Foundation Ambassador, is calling on fans to learn CPR through BHF’s online tool RevivR – which teaches CPR in 15 minutes and could help save thousands of lives. He said:
“CPR is a game changer and could be the most important lesson you ever learn. With RevivR, in just 15 minutes - the length of half time - you will have the skills to save a life. Every fan in every football club across the country can make a difference so please join the BHF today and let’s unite to create a new team of lifesavers.”