It was a cold, but dry day in Saintfield, Northern Ireland. The 17th January 2011 was to be the day that we finalised an insurance claim for our business, which had been very badly water damaged by burst pipes in the apartments upstairs. On the way home we called at the shop. There were workmen resurfacing the road and the traffic was slow, almost at a standstill.
We parked and walk the short distance to the door of the shop. Graham was one step in front and suddenly I felt dizzy. I tried to say "I don't feel well", but it was too late. I just dropped.
Graham was in a panic and had no idea what to do. Just then, Michelle, who is a school nurse was sitting in the traffic, she shouted to Graham, " do you need help? Graham said he did and she quickly came over.
Michelle teaches CPR to her students so she recognised immediately that I was in Cardiac Arrest. She started CPR. Just then Phil, who is a First Aid trainer, was in the traffic and he had a defibrillator in the car. He just abandoned his car and joined Michelle in my rescue.
I got one shock and a bit more CPR and was resuscitated and talking to them before the emergency services arrived. Amazing!
The ambulance arrived approx. 20 minutes after SCA and I was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.
Here I received the best of care. All checks were done and no reason or cause has since been determined for my SCA, but I do now have an ICD.
Both Michelle and Phil were at separate training courses in a nearby town that day and would rarely be in Saintfield. Michelle said her son had phoned her on her cell phone and she had stopped to take the call or she would have been through Saintfield before my SCA. Phil said that he had been teaching a first aid course and was delayed at the end to talk to someone or he also would have been past before my SCA occurred.
I owe my life to these two amazing people ....my super heroes!
So I just get on with life, but I guess it has changed in focus. I learned how to do CPR and teach all round my community....to anyone who is willing to learn CPR and understand how time critical it is to start CPR immediately after SCA has occurred. My biggest wish is to have CPR on the school curriculum, and take every opportunity I can to say it. The British Heart Foundation has supported me with training and supplied manikins so I help as much as I can with their campaigns.
Life is great!
My story https://youtu.be/YenljSeuoFg