In February 2007 my 54-year-old husband suffered a massive heart attack which led to cardiac arrest. He was extremely fit and active and there had been no warning signs. He survived the event and made a complete recovery, due to his fitness, the on-the-spot presence of people who were trained in CPR and acted promptly, and the excellent post-arrest care he received in several departments of our local hospital. Just under a year later, in January 2008, completely out of the blue he suffered another heart attack and cardiac arrest, this time at home. I found him collapsed and administered CPR until the paramedics arrived, but sadly all our efforts were to no avail and he died that afternoon. I learned a great deal through both events about resuscitation and its possible outcomes, and as time has gone by I've become more and more aware of what a complex and demanding area of care it is.
In 2009 I took up a voluntary role as patient representative on the Steering Group of the National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA), and was delighted and privileged to accept an invitation to join the RC (UK) PAG in a similar capacity.
My background is non-medical. My husband was a Marine Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy Submarine Service, and much of my married life was spent moving house, coping with his frequent absences on patrol and bringing up our two girls. One is now married and a fully qualified Health Visitor. The other is a soon-to-be-married mathematician working in the finance industry. I sing with a Community Gospel Choir, enjoy long-distance running (5 Half Marathons now under my belt), read a lot and write quite a bit. I have mastered the art of towing a touring caravan which is put to good use throughout the year, and am a recent convert to Zumba which tests my physical co-ordination to the limit. I am also a Methodist Local Preacher, which means I'm not afraid of public speaking - a fact which has already come in useful at two NCAA Annual Meetings.