In December 2014, my husband had a cardiac arrest at home. It was completely unexpected, but we were very fortunate. As we live in suburban Salford, the paramedics and ambulance crew came very quickly. My husband was not alone when he collapsed and received immediate CPR from family. After three shocks with an AED, his heart began to beat again. He remained unconcious and was taken to a cardiac centre, where stents were placed into his coronary artery. After a week in intensive care he began the long road to a successful recovery.
At that time, I was not really aware of how lucky he had been, and that very few people survive such an event outside of hospital. What really horrified me was how many of our friends and family said that they would have had no idea what to do in such circumstances. Subsequently, I trained to become a Heartstart trainer of CPR and use of AEDs, I spoke at the Houses of Parliament at an event organised by North West Ambulance Service, to lobby MPs to introduce this training onto the National Curriculum and I have recently volunteered to become a Community First Responder in Salford.
My husband, Dave and I have recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have four grown up children who were all trained in CPR and now in use of AED too! Our eldest son works in a charity that advises government on sustainable development of third world countries. Our daughter works in TV production, one is a speech therapist and the youngest is doing GCSEs.
In 2015 I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to volunteer on the RC (UK) PAG and look forward eagerly to the challenges ahead.