Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca volunteers reunited with mate

Mac Varell-Mckee knows how lucky he is to be alive and he has Adrian Shultz, Kevin Davis and Steve Marsh to thank.

ERIN LYONS August 1, 2014 3:44am

Catching up at the YMCA Back-9 golf course were (from left) Adrian Shultz, Kevin Davis, Mac Varell-McKee and Steve Marsh.

Mac Varell-Mckee reckons he is a pretty lucky guy.

Two weeks ago, the YMCA Back-9 golf course volunteer collapsed on hole two of the course.


Close friend and fellow volunteer Steve Marsh was first on the scene to help Mr Varell-Mckee.

‘‘I rolled him over and checked his heart. Basically it felt like he didn’t have one,’’ Mr Marsh said.

Mr Marsh alerted two colleagues, Kevin Davis and Adrian Shultz, who performed CPR on Mr Varell-Mckee.

He was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he spent four days in an induced coma.

Despite recovering and being back at the golf course, the repercussions of the incident have had an impact on Mr Varell-Mckee.

‘‘I’m out of action for another month and I can’t drive for another six,’’ he said.

Bendigo YMCA regional operations manager Rhonda Marshall said it was lucky the men had first aid training.

‘‘If Mac was out by himself it would not have been a success,’’ she said.

Mr Davis said he was only at the club that day because he was guiding a group of specialist school children around the course.

‘‘The day panned out the way it did for a reason,’’ Ms Marshall said.

‘‘If Mac had have been there on his own or if he was home alone he wouldn’t be here today.’’

Ms Marshall said the incident made everyone revisit any precautions that need to be taken to prepare for an emergency.

‘‘We have a defibrillator on hand now, it’s definitely a necessity,’’ she said.

YMCA volunteers now feel there should be a emphasis on CPR training.

‘‘People want to learn, but it’s not mandatory,’’ Ms Marshall said.

‘‘But it should be, because one day that day will come.’’

After the incident, the bond between the four volunteers has flourished and the friendship was unbreakable.

Mr Davis said the group was just grateful to have their friend home.

‘‘When you’ve got a friend and mate it’s hard to watch a friend die and Macca did die,’’ he said.

‘‘Sheer luck we got him back.’’

The incident came just weeks after Benalla senior assistant coach and club umpire John Martiniello collapsed and was not responding while at a football match in Rochester.

A nurse in training who was at the scene, Athol Hann, used a defibrillator to revive Mr Martiniello.

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