Women’s Team Share Heart Stories
Thu 4th January 2024
Three players from the women’s team recently attended a CPR Training session with the Foundation’s National Charity Partner, the British Heart Foundation, and shared some personal stories about their connection to the cause.
For Victoria Esson, 32, the New Zealand-born goalkeeper, it is a particularly personal cause as she was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, a condition which causes the heart to beat abnormally fast.
“It can beat up to 200-300 BMP and in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to a heart attack,” she explains.
“I could feel it happening, but I didn’t know any different as I’d always had them as a kid. When you say to someone my heart is beating fast, it doesn’t always flag up an issue. I remember trying to explain that I’ve got a stitch in my heart, but I didn’t really know how to explain it as a child.
“It was picked up at some pre-World Cup screening back in 2010, so I was lucky. It made sense and became clear when they identified it, and I finally knew.
“It was told it was inherited but no-one else in the family had it. I had surgery within a couple of days and again six months later, and I’m all clear now.”
Victoria believes that learning CPR is a vital lifesaving tool that everyone should know.
“You may need it when you are least expecting it. It’s not something that you can plan for, whether it’s a loved one or a family or a friend or just a person that is sitting beside you in the stand here at Ibrox – it could save someone’s life.”
Libby Bance, 20, who joined the team in September 2023 on loan from Brighton, agreed: “My grandad had a heart attack a few years ago. You hope you never have to use CPR but I’m glad I know how to do it should I ever have to. I like to think I could help someone now. Knowing how to do it is important.
“It only took 15 minutes and that can give someone their whole entire life back, so it’s definitely worth it.”
Striker Sarah Ewens, 31, also welcomed the chance to learn the vital skills: “Before today I would not have had the confidence, but the training means I’d now definitely step in and help someone if they needed it.”
Over 700,000 people in Scotland have heart and circulatory diseases, which also cause the deaths of nearly 50 people in Scotland every day.
Less than 1 in 10 people will survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest and performing the emergency lifesaving procedure can more than double their chance of survival.
RevivR allows people to learn CPR in just 15 minutes and aims to give people the skills and confidence to save a life. It teaches people how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions and outlines the correct steps in using a defibrillator. All people need is a mobile phone and a firm cushion. You can access RevivR for free HERE.
David McColgan, head of BHF Scotland, said: “Heart and circulatory diseases are some of Scotland’s biggest killers and we hope this partnership will help us raise awareness in Scotland’s footballing community about the importance of looking after your heart health, while also enabling more people to learn lifesaving CPR skills.”