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Fast action saved my life, says Chris
A MAN whose life was saved by two first aiders after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest is backing a campaign for more defibrillators in public places.
Chris McDonald said he could have died had he not received electric shocks from an automated external defibrillator (AED) almost immediately after he collapsed during a meeting at General Dynamics UK, in Pershore.
The 33-year-old, who lives in Wales, regained consciousness two days after his sudden collapse in May thanks to the quick-thinking of the two St John Ambulance trained workplace first aiders who delivered two shocks to his heart within minutes.
“Both my wife and I know first aid but there’s nothing anyone could have done if an AED hadn’t been available on site,” he said. “By the time an ambulance arrived it would have been too late. “I’d definitely like to see more AEDs in the workplace and public places because if one hadn’t been available when I had my cardiac arrest then I wouldn’t be here today.”
Mr McDonald, who has a nine-month-old baby, spent three weeks in hospital including a week in intensive care. He was diagnosed with a genetic heart defect, which can cause arrhythmias – irregular heartbeats.
Diane Fullerton, 49, from Ledbury, and Karen Lawrance, 47, from Worcester, both knew how to operate an AED thanks to their regular St John Ambulance training but it was the first time they had used one in a life or death situation.
“I don’t think we would have been able to help him without the AED,” said Mrs Fullerton. “At the time all the training that had been drilled into us enabled us to keep calm and do what was needed until a paramedic and ambulance arrived.
“But we both felt very emotional about it afterwards and it was such a relief when we heard Chris had regained consciousness.”