THE installation of more life-saving devices at the University of Stirling has been welcomed by a student who collapsed on a sports pitch two years ago.

Keen footballer and lacrosse player Finlay Richardson was a 20-year-old third-year student when he went into cardiac arrest at a training session in February 2016.

Teammates and staff used CPR and a defibrillator to keep him alive while paramedics arrived and this month, Finlay was on hand when 11 more of the vital devices were installed at the campus.

Gareth Allen, Conor Kerr, Kevin McIntosh and friend Eilidh Watson sprung into action as he lay unresponsive on the ground with a defibrillator from the sports centre being used to administer shocks in a bid to save his life.

Finlay said: “The staff were brilliant and gave me CPR while the defibrillator started up.

“They shocked me once, did more CPR, and then shocked me again two or three more times.

"I think the paramedics also used their defibrillator on me and it was in that moment that I came round.”

He was eventually taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital and was diagnosed with a delated cardiomyopathy – a condition where the left ventricle is enlarged and weakened, reducing the heart’s ability to pump blood.

After more than two weeks in hospital, he was released with an implantable defibrillator as a precaution and made a full recovery.

The now 23-year-old also graduated with a first-class honours degree in environmental science last summer – his “proudest achievement”.

This month he returned to thank the staff and paramedics who saved his life and welcomed the installation of the new devices.

He said: “It is really scary to think that, if this had happened to me somewhere else, there’s a chance that I wouldn’t be here anymore.

“I was fortunate that there was a defibrillator at the sports centre and the staff – and the paramedics – had the skills and expertise to save my life.

“It is impossible for me to put into words how grateful I am to everybody who was involved that day.”

There are now 20 defibrillators on campus, all registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service for public access, meaning call handlers can direct people to the nearest device in a cardiac arrest emergency.

Finlay, originally from Edinburgh, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the university is introducing these new defibrillators – I speak from personal experience when I say that they can make a vital difference.”

He believes the devices are “underappreciated”, adding: “I would love to see more rolled out across Scotland – and further afield – to ensure that this critical resource is available to everybody, no matter where they take ill.”