Reunion at Suncorp Stadium in Milton: Footy Fan Meets Staff Who Saved His Life

Suncorp Stadium
Photo Credit: Suncorp Stadium

A year after collapsing from a heart attack at an NRL game, a footy fan has emotionally reunited with the Suncorp Stadium staff whose timely intervention and first aid skills saved his life.



In 2023, Douglas Burke, a devoted fan of the Redcliffe Dolphins, experienced a life-threatening emergency during a game against the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium.  Mr Burke was on his way to the restrooms when he collapsed at the bottom of a stairway. 

Medical Emergency Response

Stadium staff, including Stand Manager Deb and Errol Phillips, responded quickly. Realising the severity of the situation, they administered CPR and used a defibrillator until emergency services arrived. 

The medical response lasted several critical minutes before Mr Burke was transported to Royal Brisbane Hospital.

The staff’s recent first aid training was crucial on the day of the incident. Errol Phillips, who played a significant role in the resuscitation effort, noted that although it was his first real-life application of CPR, the training they had refreshed just weeks earlier prepared them well. 

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The team’s efforts were so forceful that Mr Burke sustained a broken sternum and ribs, indicative of the vigorous and lifesaving CPR provided.

Recognition and Recovery

The Suncorp Stadium staff, including Deb and Errol, received a Beyond Expectations Award from the venue for their heroic actions. 

Suncorp Stadium
Photo Credit: Suncorp Stadium

Mr Burke’s recovery was complete, and he expressed profound gratitude towards the staff for their actions that day, emphasizing the impact of their training and quick response.



After his recovery, Mr Burke returned to Suncorp Stadium to personally thank the staff who saved his life. This reunion, filled with gratitude and emotional exchanges, underscored the importance of trained first responders in public venues. 

Published 22-April-2024