During one of my regular trips to the gym, in the middle of a workout I’d done many times, I suffered a cardiac arrest in Sittingbourne.
Staff noticed on CCTV that I had collapsed. They called 999, commenced CPR and used a defibrillator to shock my heart back into a normal rhythm.
I don’t remember any of it, but I understand it was seven minutes from the alarm being pressed until the emergency services arrived, so they had to keep going for that long.
When the Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) doctor and paramedic arrived, I was in a critical condition. The lack of oxygen to my brain meant I was having fits and there was a risk of brain damage and going back into cardiac arrest.
They stabilised me and gave me a general anaesthetic which was essential as it reduced the workload on my heart, stopped me from fitting and meant I could be taken to the William Harvey Hospital by air. Otherwise I would have had to survive a 45-minute road journey.
Once there it was all systems go with an angiogram, head scan and so on. Fortunately, I was totally out of it.
After 18 days in hospital, several of them in a coma, I was fitted with a device to regulate my heart rhythms (an Implantable cardioverter defibrillator or ICD) before I returned home.
Without what was done at the gym, I would not have survived, it was crucial. If they hadn’t had a defibrillator, and if the guys had not known how to give CPR, I would not be here today.