Last August I was on my way to meet friends to see a show in the Edinburgh Festival. I was walking through Waverley train station when I suffered a cardiac arrest and my heart stopped. Fortunately for me a member of the public saw me lying on the ground, rushed to my aid and commenced CPR. British Transport Police were patrolling the station at the time and also came to help me. They all used a Defibrillator to restart my heart. Scottish Ambulance Service arrived at the station a few minutes later and took over before taking me to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where I was admitted to Intensive Care. In total I spent six weeks in hospital where I received excellent care from all of the many staff there.
Since being discharged from hospital I have learned that only around 1 in 12 people survive an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest. I am one of the lucky ones. I have also learned about the "Chain of Survival", which describes the steps necessary to improve the chances of survival. These are:
1. early access - someone witnessing the cardiac arrest and calling the emergency services
2. early CPR - this helps to keep the heart in a shockable state
3. early defibrillation - this is the link in the chain most likely to improve survival
4. early advanced care by paramedics, nurses and doctors
It appears as though my case has been a textbook example of the Chain of Survival working in practice and I consider myself very fortunate. I am very grateful to everyone who was involved in saving my life and those involved in my subsequent recovery to full health.
I have since found out that I had collapsed only a few metres away from where a Defibrillator was located in the Station. The Defibrillator had been installed in 2015 as part of a project between St Johns Scotland and Network Rail.
St John Scotland is a Scottish charity dedicated to saving and enhancing lives. Their volunteers help people get to hospital for cancer treatment and dialysis with their Patient Transport Services. They are working to make sure more people have the chance of surviving cardiac arrest, by increasing the availability of Public Access Defibrillators in communities across Scotland. They also help people of all ages to learn bystander CPR so they are ready to step in and save a life.
I'm grateful for the work of St Johns Scotland and wanted to support them by raising money as part of my participation in Edinburgh Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk 2019. Please help me help them by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button. The more people that know about The Kiltwalk, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot to me!