The mother of an Islandmagee footballer who died during an amateur league match in 2013 has welcomed the donation of a defibrillator to the Wilbourne Park club.
Stuart Ross, 25, passed away while playing for Island’s second team against Shankill United’s reserves.
Speaking to the Times, Stuart’s mum, Janet, said the potentially life-saving equipment, gifted by HeartSine employee Jennifer Bell, would bring ‘a confidence’ to all at the club.
“It means so much to the family and the club,” said Mrs. Ross. “If we had have had a defbrillator that day, maybe Stuart would be alive - we just don’t know.”
Islandmagee player Noel Dean says the defibrillator will bring peace of mind to all at the club.
Dean, who battled to revive his team-mate, said: “Obviously, a lot of people were affected by what happened on that day.
“This equipment will bring peace of mind. Where Islandmagee is situated, it’s very isolated. I think everybody’s thoughts are that while this is at the club, if, God forbid, something like this was to ever happen again, the person involved would have a far better chance of surviving.”
He added: “Jennifer works for HeartSine and the company told their staff that they were giving them defibrillators at Christmas. She knew the whole story of what had happened to Stuart. I was the first person she contacted and my first thought was to give it to Islandmagee. Jennifer has to take a lot of credit for this.”
Memories of what happened on that tragic day remain with Dean, a former captain of Carrick Rangers.
“It’s something I never want to go through again,” he added. “Seeing a young man die in your hands like that is horrendous and I’d never ever want to experience anything like that again.
“Knowing that the equipment is now at the club, hopefully, means that I, or anyone else, won’t have to face a situation like that again. Hopefully now this will put everybody’s mind at ease.”
A spokesperson for HeartSine said: “Employee Jenny Bell decided to donate her defibrillator to Islandmagee. The death of Stuart Ross had a particular impact on her life as her mum’s partner, Noel, helped to perform CPR on him.”