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John needed more than paramedics to save his life

The chain of survival with cardiac arrest starts with early recognition, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early response from medical services; take away any of these factors, and there’s a significant reduction in survival rates.

Take 5 November 2018 for example. John was playing golf with friends Adrian, Colin and Clive. It was a beautiful evening, and John seemed perfectly well. But as they teed up for the eighth hole, John stumbled back and fell to the ground. His friends arrived at John’s side to find him not breathing.

Fortunately the trio knew what to do. Clive immediately called 111, while Adrian and Colin started CPR. There was no time to get emotional; John needed them.

Together, John’s friends started the chain of survival.

Adrian, Colin, and Clive were giving everything they had, and helping them with every chest compression was Call Taker Christopher – all the while making sure John’s case was prioritised.

The golf club was in the middle of Ohariu Valley and two paramedic crews were coming as fast as they could but within minutes of calling 111, First Responder Craig arrived.

First Responder Craig says: “When I got there, CPR was being performed. That’s a really good start. It didn’t matter what we did next – you take away good, early CPR, and what we do next might be useless.”

Then, they heard sirens. After what felt like the longest few minutes of their lives, the paramedics arrived.

Paramedics Kristy, Mark, Andre, and Derek immediately got the defibrillator ready to shock John’s heart. Fire fighters arrived to help, and took over CPR so our paramedics could focus on defibrillation and medication.

Paramedic Mark says: “We work as a team. We have a good understanding of what we want to do, and everyone does their job.”

Together, after many shocks to John’s heart, the team manage to get his heart beating again for the first time.

But it didn’t last, so they called for the helicopter as soon as they got John’s pulse back. Almost as soon as the helicopter landed, they lost John again.

Even though John’s chances of survival were slim, the team kept going. Then hope became a heartbeat.

Finally, John could safely be taken to hospital where his wife Julianne and their children were anxiously waiting.

Paramedic Mark knows that paramedics mean a lot to the people they help, but he also knows paramedics are just one part of the chain of survival:

“CPR began before we even arrived, before the phone call even got through to us. That’s why John is alive today. We had a job to do because of what John’s friends had done already,” Mark says.

By working together, Adrian, Clive, Colin, First Responder Craig, Paramedics Kristy, Mark, Andre, Derek, and all the other helpers saved John’s life.

After a long recovery, John is now home with his family.

To support more people like John, visit our donation page.