skip to content

Local footy fan reunites with heroes who saved his life

July 8, 2024 | in News

A Wantirna father is lucky to be alive after suffering a cardiac arrest while attending his son’s football training at Donvale Football Club. 

Fifty-three-year-old Paul Diamandis was kicking a football around when he went into cardiac arrest last month.

A man is shaking hands with several people at a parking space.

Paul says thank you to Paramedic Mel Jurgens.

Michael Wolff (20) and Jamie Fabris (20) were nearby coaching the under 15s football team when they saw Paul collapse and immediately jumped into action. 

“Paul was face-down and when we turned him over, we saw that his face was blue and he wasn’t breathing,” Michael said. 

Michael called Triple Zero (000) immediately, before passing the phone to a parent and beginning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  

He soon swapped with Jamie to continue compressions and raced to the club room to grab an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). 

“I’d learnt how to do CPR before which is why I knew what to do and the AED had verbal directions telling us how to administer the shocks,” Michael said.

Two men hugging one another while several people look on at a parking space.

Paul and Paramedic Rory Ashton exchange a heartfelt hug.

Michael and Jamie worked together to continue CPR and administer shocks from the AED while Ambulance Victoria paramedics and Fire Rescue Victoria firefighters rushed to the scene. 

Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Paramedic Rory Ashton said that the boys’ quick-thinking helped save Paul’s life. 

“Following the chain-of-survival by making that call to Triple Zero, starting CPR, and using an AED, played a major role in achieving a successful outcome,” Rory said. 

Rory was one of the first paramedics on-scene and used his specialist skillset as a MICA paramedic to help Paul. 

“When we arrived, Paul had a pulse but was not breathing, so we put him into an induced coma before transporting him to hospital,” he said.

A diverse group of men and women standing together on a grassy field.

Paul (centre) with the bystanders and first responders who helped save his life.

MICA Paramedics can perform advanced medical procedures including advanced airway management and advanced management of cardiac conditions.  

Paul was transported to Box Hill Hospital and has since recovered well enough to make a return to his beloved local footy club and attend training again. 

On Sunday, 7 July, he reunited with Michael, Jamie and the paramedics and firefighters who helped saved his life. 

“I’m so grateful; it’s an honour to be able to meet the people who helped save my life,” Paul said.  

If someone is unconscious or not breathing normally, remember: 

  • Call: call Triple Zero (000) immediately. The call taker will talk you through CPR and how to use an AED. 
  • Push: push hard, fast and continuously on the chest. 
  • Shock: if available, turn on the AED and follow the instructions