Guy Leech - From Sportsman to Lifesaver

Hi, my name is Dr. Warrick Bishop.

I have the pleasure to catch up again with Guy Leech, who is and an acclaimed athlete at the highest level and also a lifesaver, which is what we're going to talk about today.

For those who have had the chance, we've already done two podcasts, really talking about your sporting journey. And for me, it was fascinating to hear the importance of the mindset, the discipline, the requirement to really do your best and the structures you put in place to achieve that. But one of the things that's happened in the last year is you've really pivoted and changed your emphasis.

And it's a lovely play on words, but you've become a different sort of lifesaver from someone who wore togs and the orange and yellow hats to someone who's really involved at the coalface of trying to save lives with automatic defibrillators. And I really wanted to share your journey with our audience.

How did you get to where you are at the moment? And what were the steps along the way?

I suppose we all, in life, have those moments that change the direction we're going in and I know your story that you've told regarding one of your patients, and for me, once I retired from iron man... I always loved the fitness aspect of iron man; I always loved that sort of feeling of fitness and what I  did there,.and I always had an interest in that. So I was always going down that line of being a trainer and training groups, being an expert in that area, which is what I did for the next 20 years or so. And it was nearly 6 years ago in one of my fitness classes that I took down around Manly in cities.

One of the guys in the fitness class, and there were about 25 people that morning, at the beach, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and, yeah, he was one of my best mates, this guy, and he dropped at the end of the session. And my training from the surf club days jumped in and we made sure we rang 000, and an ambulance was on the way, and I started resuscitating him. The ambulance took about 13-14 minutes to turn up. I kept recusing him. Didn't get a result.

And the short of it was that he had an electrical issue with his heart. And the only thing that was going to restart the heart was a defibrillator. I didn't have one there... and I didn't have one because, when I was in the surf club in the eighties and nineties, there were no defibs at surf clubs.

And yeah, it was the first that we heard about it. It was Kerry Packer having a hot issue, stopped breathing, an ambulance turned up. It was the only ambulance, got him back, and off the back of that, Kerry went dollar for dollar with the New South Wales state government to put them into New South Wales ambulances.

So that was the first I heard about them.  

Exactly, exactly. He lives on through an event that got him back alive again. So look, I learned after my mate didn't make it through a cardiologist like yourself and the surgeon at the Royal North Shore Hospital and all these things that... they said, "Guy, you did a good job. We know you did good CPR on him. You weren't going to bring him back. It was an electrical issue with the heart. It started out as a plumbing issue, but became an electrical issue." I'm not telling you anything you don't know, Doc.

And then they said, "if you had a defib there and you could have gotten it on him quickly in the first three minutes, then his chances of surviving were approximately around 70%. But every minute after that first three minutes, the chances of re-kicking the heart over from the shock from a defib goes down by 10%. So, going out to 14 minutes, when the ambulance turns up with the defib, and they try to restart his heart, and the engine won't start again, you know, roughly.

So I learned all of this after the fact and so, you know, the thing, the thing on that day, wasn't just me pumping his chest, trying to get him back. It was the other 24 people there that were all mates with them as well, watching it. It was just... just a horrific situation and, you know, they all wanted to know more about the defibs after that.

So. I went and investigated. Were you near a building or any structures that could have housed a defib or were you miles away from anywhere?

No, we were, but you know what?

6 years ago, there were hardly any defibs anywhere, and, people really didn't know much about them. Fast forward 6 years, and I've got a business called Heart 180 that is a distribution company for the two leading brands of defibs in the world. And we send out defibs every day from our warehouse on the Northern Beaches, and we save a life every 7-8 weeks that we find out about.

Why Defibs Save Lives

At Heart 180, we want to have a defib within 180 seconds of any Australian suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Ugly Fact is you probably know someone that has been impacted by a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. A Heart180 defibrillator puts the odds in your favour. When you have a sudden cardiac arrest your heart stops beating.

It’s an electrical failure. This means the only thing that can get the heart beating again is a defibrillator!

Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills more Aussie's than anything else
That’s 600 people every week, this includes kids, teenagers & fit adults.

But there is a Solution.
A Heart180 Defibrillator can help
GET A QUOTE AND WE WILL MATCH ANY COMPETITIVE PRICE and we will provide free training with every defib sold
Find more here:

Find out more about a Defib Machine

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