David Sullivan walked from John O'Groats to Land's End to teach people essential CPR, and played golf along the way to help raise awareness
Golfer Trains 30,000 People CPR In Life-Saving Challenge
58-year-old David Sullivan, a former Armed Forces trainer from Oxted, Surrey, has walked over 1100 miles in twelve weeks, all the while hitting over a quarter of a million golf shots and teaching people life-saving CPR skills along the way.
It is estimated the he trained 30,000 people CPR skills, while also raising awareness and funds that enables more towns and villages to install life-saving defibrillators through the British Heart Foundation.
Sullivan set off from John O'Groats in June, and arrived at the other end of the UK in Land's End on 22 August.
He walked between 14 and 30 miles everyday, alongside hitting thousands of golf balls.
However, David has only managed to raise £9000 in this life-saving challenge, after initially hoping donations would total £60,000 to help 60 locations in Britain install a defibrillator.
He is now calling for people to donate to his JustGiving page in a challenge that saw him hit a golf ball from John O'Groats to Land's End.
“I’m imploring individuals and businesses all over the country to support this endeavour," says David.
"Until a cardiac arrest happens to you, or someone you know, it’s impossible to truly understand how critical defibrillators are.
"Being treated with a defibrillator can literally mean the difference between life and death.
"We saw this recently when Danish footballer Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
"It can happen to anyone at any age at any time - being treated with a defibrillator increases someone’s chance of survival by up to 70%.”
David's mission to teach essential CPR skills came in 2016, when a young man experienced a cardiac arrest in front of him on a golf course.
The former Armed Forces trainer gave him CPR for 17 minutes, before he was treated with a defibrillator.
“It was thanks to my training, and a defibrillator being nearby, that I was able to help save the man, who luckily made a full recovery,” says David.
“When something like that happens right in front of you, it makes you realise how precious life is and how important it is to know what to do in that kind of emergency.
"It was an experience which profoundly affected me, and now it’s my mission to create an army of life savers all over the country.”
Gary Favell, CEO of American Golf, who sponsored David's adventure, said: “David has been on an incredible journey over the last two months and American Golf is proud to have been behind him, encouraging him every step of the way.
"It’s been fantastic to see the attention that David’s challenge has garnered up and down the country, raising awareness of the importance of knowing CPR, and the enthusiasm that he has shown in training people along his route.
"Huge congratulations to David on all he has achieved – we hope he now enjoys a well-earned rest having reached his final hole.”
Ryan has worked as a junior staff writer for Golf Monthly since 2021.
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