Gym workout ends in tragedy as ‘fit’ dad collapses while lifting weights with brother

A heartbroken man fought to save the life of his brother after he suffered huge heart attack while working out in the gym.

Martin Cleaver, 43, from Widnes, went to Body FX gym in Runcorn, with his brother, Phil, 40, on August 17 after they finished work for the day.

The two of them were taking turns weightlifting when Martin experienced chest pain, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Phil turned around and saw his brother collapse from the bench he was sitting on, and onto the floor.

The 40-year-old and other gym members put hackney cab driver Martin onto his back and performed CPR.

Phil said: “Martin had just finished his set and sat on the bench, and I started mine. I heard him say ‘s**t’ so I turned around and saw him holding his chest. He then fell straight forward off the bench.

“There was about five of us in the gym in total and we rolled him on his back, I went to feel for a pulse but there wasn’t one. None of us were trained in first aid and we just started doing what you see on the TV.

“Another lad in the gym was doing chest compressions and I was breathing into his mouth. He started being sick and I thought that was a sign of him getting better, we cleared his airway but about ten seconds later his face went blue.

“It was mad because we were having a laugh one minute and the next minute he was dead.”

A first aider from a nearby Boots pharmacy arrived to take over compressions, while Phil waited for an ambulance.

Other gym-goers also ran to a nearby Weatherspoon’s to get a defibrillator.

Martin was then taken to Whiston Hospital by paramedics, and was pronounced dead, with doctors telling the family he had a heart attack.

Phil said his family were “devastated” by the loss of Martin, who would “do anything for anyone”.

He said: “He was only 43 and I think the worst thing is that there were no symptoms and nothing wrong with him before he died. He was just a normal lad with a 25-year-old son and he loved going to the gym.

“He was a good man, he was outgoing, good looking and well built. That morning he was up at 4am to take my son to Middlesbrough as he had a job up there.”

Since Martin’s death, Body FX gym raised £1,790 to purchase a defibrillator from the Oliver King Foundation.

A total of 12 gym staff and members were trained in first aid and how to use the new piece of equipment.

Personal trainer at Body FX, Matthew Hayes, said: “If this happens again, which hopefully it never does we can reduce the risk of such a tragic event happening again.

” Fire extinguishers are installed in every building, it should be the same with defibrillators.”

The Oliver King Foundation exists in memory of Oliver who tragically died age 12 after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

The foundation is determined to see every school in the UK has access to a life-saving defibrillator.

Oliver’s dad Mark, who set up the foundation, told the ECHO that since the foundation launched in 2012 it has given 6,000 defibrillators out in schools and other places.

He said: “We have concentrated on the schools although we have been delivering to businesses, leisure centres, schools, churches, synagogues, we have been delivering them everywhere.

“We’re growing because we are raising the awareness of what these defibrillators do.”

Martin leaves behind his parents, Ron and Jackie, brother, Phil, sister, Lisa, and his son, Kyle.