My name is Colin Harley and in April last year (2021) I was unfortunate enough to have a cardiac arrest just after walking the dog. I’d got back and put the dog in the garage. Next thing I know, it is 22 hours later and I am being woken up in King’s College Hospital in London.
I have to thank my son Steve for saving my life. He lives a few doors along and came and did CPR, which kept me going until a paramedic arrived. Then the KSS Air Ambulance flew into King George V Playing Fields in Loose near Maidstone. They put me in an induced coma and took me off to King’s College in London because there was a risk I had suffered a head injury so they could manage that if required alongside any cardiac interventions.
I stayed there for 15 days and was fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) and the rest is history, really. It has been a long road to recovery but it’s been good, and every step along the way has been worthwhile.
I think CPR is vital – it was certainly vital in my case. The more people that understand the process and how to do it, the better it is for the people around them because it is not a difficult thing to do.
You need to have the courage to do it when the time comes. If you can, get training in how to do CPR. But if you’re not trained, the 999 call handler will tell you what to do. The main thing is to have a go – once you have done that, the rewards are quite amazing really. It saves people’s lives, it is as simple as that.
We have followed KSS since its inception and supported it at events like the Kent County Show. Since they cared for me we have joined the lottery and we also make other donations to them and fully support all the work they do, their work is vital.
We see it fly over our house occasionally and we always think, `I wonder where they are off to today?’.
The crew are quite an amazing bunch of people. They go where they are needed, when they are needed, whatever is needed, day or night. Their work is second to none. They are a nice bunch of people who do what they do because there is a need, and we are very grateful for that.”