Training that saves lives – Richard’s story

I was at work at the end of my lunch hour when I collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest

I was a lawyer and was talking to my secretary at the time. I fell onto the table next to her desk. That is all I remember. One of my colleagues knew how to do CPR and jumped in to help while my secretary called an ambulance. It was an amazing coincidence that an ambulance was close to the office on its way back to the depot. They were there in two minutes. 

I was so lucky that she knew what to do

By the time I got to hospital I was told I had suffered two more cardiac arrests. 

A few years before I’d had a heart attack, but this really did come out of the blue. It was a complete shock. I was fitted with an ICD which works as an internal defibrillator. If my heart goes into a dangerous rhythm again, it will shock it back to a normal rhythm. Altogether I was in hospital for two weeks before returning home. 

The description of a cardiac arrest is “the ultimate medical emergency”. Treatment has to be given within just a few minutes or you will die.

In hospital I found out a colleague had given me CPR after I collapsed. To say I was grateful to her is an understatement. 

I was so lucky that she knew what to do and had the confidence to jump in. 

She saved my life.