A MAN who campaigned for a defibrillator has become the first person to have his life saved by it - two years later.

Former city councillor Andy Hannan secured funding for the life-saving piece of kit and was pictured being presented with it in 2018.

But in a bizarre twist of fate it was used for the first time on him as his heart stopped beating when he collapsed while taking part in a walking football match.

Andy, of Exeter, Devon, said he was unaware he even had a heart problem before the incident earlier this month.

He is now in hospital awaiting a triple bypass operation, but said he would not be here without the heroic actions of his teammates - and the defibrillator he helped secure.

Posting on social media, alongside a picture of him receiving the item from local Devon County councillor Marina Asvachin, he wrote: "I had made the application to Marina for funding the purchase of the defibrillator in total ignorance of my heart problems.

"My heart and my breathing stopped suddenly after playing in a couple of games on the 3G pitch.

"I am amazed I was the first to benefit from its use. Strange yes, but true."

The incident happened while Andy was playing for the Exeter Strollers walking football team on Wednesday, November 4.

His teammate Sue Hutchings performed CPR on Andy while manager at the Wonford Sports Centre Jimmy Moore used the defibrillator on him.

Andy added: "The defibrillator in the photo below being presented to me on behalf of Exeter Strollers Walking Football Club at Wonford Sports Centre in September 2018 by Marina Asvachin, county councillor for Wonford & St Loyes, played a significant role in saving my life last Wednesday when I suffered a cardiac arrest.

"Of course, the heroic efforts of Sue Hutchings a fellow Stroller who applied CPR for long periods and managed the attempt to resuscitate me and the calm support given by Jimmy Moore, the centre manager, who operated the defibrillator were also crucial."

Andy, a former Labour councillor, is currently at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital awaiting a triple heart bypass operation.

He said he was struggling to remember what happened on the night.

He added: "I’m trying to put together an accurate story of the whole event for my own piece of mind.

"I feel fine but I know I’m not. I won’t be right until I’ve had a bypass op. I’m waiting to hear where and when this will be. In the meantime I’m stuck in hospital."

Sue, who is also the GB Masters champion in First Aid and a campaigner for first aid to be taught in schools, said she spotted Andy lying on the floor by the gate.

She said she ran over and got no response so started to give CPR while waiting for an ambulance.

She was on her second lot of compressions when the defibrillator arrived and said by the time the ambulance crews arrived, Andy was already coming round.

She added: "It is completely ironic that the very first time the defibrillator was used it was on Andy, and that combined with the CPR that I performed on him, it undoubtedly saved his life."

His wife, Kathryn posted of her gratitude on Facebook and said: "Big thank you to Exeter Strollers - one for saving Andy’s life and two for the lovely flowers which arrived at our house today.

"Very thoughtful of you and much appreciated."