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Brush with Death Inspires Mid-Summer Masters

10.19am 15th March 2013 - People

Tony Menai Davis at PapworthHospital
Tony Menai Davis at PapworthHospital

May 31st 2012 seemed to be just another Thursday at The Shire London Golf Club, but it ended in a dramatic ambulance journey, and a brush with death for the club’s owner, Tony Menai Davis.

And now the Welsh-born golf entrepreneur has announced a celebrity golf day to be held at his golf club on the longest day of the year, to raise funds to buy an ECMO machine – the device which kept him alive, at PapworthHospital.

Tony Menai Davis contracted double pneumonia in May 2012, and afterbrief spell in intensive case in The Lister Hospital in Stevenage he was put into an induced coma on the evening of May 31st, and was rushed at Papworth Hospital where he was treated by the ECMO team (What is ECMO? Please seethe end of this press release].

His coma lasted three weeks and led to an extended stay in Papworth, the UK’s largest specialist heart & lung hospital. Menai Davis finally re-joined his relieved wife Anne and sons Ceri and Cae at home in late July, with little memory of his ordeal.

Tony Menai Davis, whose Shire London is the only golf course in the UK designed by the late Severiano Ballesteros, tells the story in his own words: “I thought it was just man flu, and ignored my wife’s suggestion that I should get it seen to. Little did I know that particular day would end with me on life support in an ambulance, on the way to Papworth. That’s the last thing I remember, for five weeks.

“If it weren’t for Papworth’s ECMO service, this would have been an obituary. Even then Anne, my wife, was told that first night that I only had a one in four chance of surviving. But over the next few weeks, the amazing people at Papworth not only saved my life, but they changed it forever. All the staff at Papworth are saints.”

“Having this golf day is the least I can do, to say thank you,” he says. “I passionately ask that golfers come to help us raise £24,000, which will buy another of these incredible ECMO machines. You never know, it might be your own life you are saving, by playing in this golf day!”

Dr Alain Vuylsteke, Lead Consultant Intensivist at PapworthHospital, said: “Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a potentially life-saving technique used in patients with severe heart or lung failure. As one of the National Centres providing ECMO to the sickest intensive care patients, PapworthHospital continuously needs new and updated equipment. We are delighted that this golf day is raising money for an additional ECMO machine to allow us to provide the highly specialised service we do.”

The all-day Mid-Summer Masters Tournament will take place at The Shire London Golf Club in Barnet, Hertfordshire on June 21st 2013. Teams of four will each be headed by a celebrity from the world of sport or show business, and all entry fees will go towards the £24,000 cost of a new ECMO machine for PapworthHospital.

Starting with a magnificent breakfast, and finishing with a champagne reception, sumptuous dinner, prize giving and charity auction, the Mid-Summer Masters promises to be a truly memorable event.

Tony Menai Davis reflects on his experience: “The chef Raymond Blanc once told me: ‘God laughs at those who make long term plans’. It’s only thanks to Papworth’s brilliant staff, and the ECMO machine, that I’m still around to make any plans at all.”

The online entry form for the Mid-Summer Masters can be found at:

About The Ecmo Machine

ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a technique which oxygenates blood outside the body. It is used for patients whose heart and lungs cannot function on their own or with conventional ventilation. ECMO is a highly specialised technique, which needs the input of intensive care specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons as well as ECMO-trained nurses and perfusion scientists. Papworth Hospital is one of five hospitals commissioned by the National Specialised Commissioning Team to provide ECMO.


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