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Life-saving Lymington trainer Andres Lopez joins £5m British Heart Foundation campaign

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A PERSONAL trainer from Lymington has helped launch a campaign to raise £5m for the British Heart Foundation after using first aid knowledge to save a gym-goer’s life.

Andres Lopez (31), a former lifeguard at the town’s sea water baths and Shorefield Country Park, said his training taught him what to do when Adam Carley (34) collapsed.

Adam’s heart stopped several times but Andres and another gym user were able to use CPR and an on-site defibrillator to bring him back to life.

Adam Carley (left) and Andres Lopez
Adam Carley (left) and Andres Lopez

Andres said: “I did monthly CPR training when I worked as a lifeguard – so when Adam collapsed I was confident with what to do.

“A lot of people who were there at the time said they wanted to help but just didn’t know what to do.

“It was an extreme situation – I guess it was fight or flight.

“I know a lot of the people who were there at the time have said they want to get some first aid training so they would know exactly what to do if anything like that ever happened again.”

Now the pair have teamed up to promote a three-year partnership between PureGym and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which aims to raise £5m to improve heart health across the UK.

Adam, who spent almost two weeks in hospital following the incident, learned he had an inherited, undiagnosed heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes thickening of the heart muscle.

The incident happened in 2019 during a session at PureGym in Southampton.

Adam recalled: “I remember the day well – it was July and we were about 20-25 minutes into a group training session. I was struggling to catch my breath and my vision went pixilated.

“I thought I would squat down and have a drink and catch my breath. I remember thinking the word ‘help’ but I don’t know if I said it out loud – at that point everything went black.

“Waking up felt strange, almost like slowly being woken from a deep sleep and a good dream. I had felt at peace, like I just caught up after a busy week, only to find about half a dozen people looking down on me.

“I remember a voice sternly asking me who I was, where I was and what had happened.”

During his stay in hospital Adam was fitted with a mini defibrillator and warned that it would not be safe for him to do exercise and workouts that could put intense pressure on his heart.

He said: “I found it difficult to accept and I did become depressed. I had spent the last two years training and losing a lot of weight to get to a peak of physical fitness.”

The pair have since become close friends, with Andres still training Adam.

Adam said: “I will be on lifelong medication but it doesn’t mean I can’t still work out.

“Andres knows how to push me within my limits to improve my strength and mobility.”

The £5m PureGym and BHF campaign, which Adam and Andres are backing, aims to provide people with the information they need to live healthier lives, the skills to help in a cardiac arrest and the support to recover from a traumatic cardiac event.

As part of the partnership PureGym also plans to make life-saving training resources available to all its members and staff as well as adding hundreds of defibrillators to a national network.

BHF chief executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with PureGym to improve heart health across the UK.

“The partnership provides an exciting opportunity for PureGym and the BHF to deliver a range of transformational projects, making a genuine difference to the health of the nation, and raising an incredible amount of money which will power science to help save lives.”

For more information, visit: www.puregym.com/british-heart-foundation

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