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Caddy’s actions were more than par for the course

October 16, 2013

A Scottish caddy has been praised by a visiting American golfer who said his prompt actions saved her life after she suffered a heart problem on the course.

Marilyn Holter, a retired attorney from New Jersey, was in a party of eight players enjoying a round at Nairn Golf Club in the Highlands when she became unwell. She urged other players, including her husband Peter, to continue as she returned to the clubhouse to rest.

But by the time she reached the locker room her symptoms had become more severe, including light-headedness, a pounding heart, sweating and was having trouble breathing.

Her local caddy, Neil Gibson, who accompanied her to the clubhouse, on seeing her worsening condition, persuaded Mrs Holter to let him take her to Nairn Town and County Hospital, from where she was taken by ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

.Neil, who stays in Auldearn, then returned to the course and collected Mr Holter and drove him to Raigmore to be at his wife's bedside. Mrs Holter, 60, subsequently spent two nights in hospital being treated for a heart condition before being released to continue her recovery at home.

On her return the grateful golfer sent a message to Nairn Golf Club manager Yvonne Forgan praising the caddy's actions: "I want to tell Neil that I am ok, in large part thanks to his intervention; that my cardiac event was as serious as he apparently judged it to be; and that I was able to travel back to the US to continue treatment."

Mrs Holter said a doctor at Raigmore had diagnosed atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia - or heart rhythm disorder: "He said that a blood test revealed that a heart attack had occurred. I was released on medication after two nights in the hospital, and we flew home on schedule three days later. I am pursuing treatment and having further tests here in the states.

"Although I am not a doctor, I am convinced that Neil's actions were not only wildly and unusually considerate, but also life-saving."

Mrs Holter is already back playing golf on the advice of a cardiologist and she and her husband hope to return to Scotland soon: "We'd like to finish our rounds at Nairn and enjoy more fish and chips but, most of all, thank Neil for caring so much and so effectively for a couple of strangers."

The club was also contacted by Marie Dewar from tour company Best of Scotland Holidays who said: "Please give Neil our grateful thanks for the kindness and consideration shown to Mr and Mrs Holter".

Neil said he is delighted Mrs Holter is recovering well: "I thought it best she went to hospital to be safe and I'm glad she responded well to treatment. It's nice to receive praise, but I just did what I thought was right and thankfully things worked out well. Nairn caddies like to show consideration to their clients."

Yvonne Forgan added: "I am not surprised by Neil's actions in helping Mrs Holter. He showed a good example to everyone and, although he doesn't like being the centre of attention, it's only right he gets the recognition he deserves."

Nairn GC, which hosted the Walker Cup in 1999 and the Curtis Cup in 2012, is part of Highland Golf Links (HGL), a partnership of three leading Highland venues that also includes Castle Stuart Golf Links and Royal Dornoch Golf Club as well as the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House Hotel, Inverness; the Royal Golf Hotel and Links House, at Royal Dornoch; and the Golf View Hotel in Nairn to promote destination breaks.

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