Friday, 2 May 2008

BHF-funded defibrillator saves heart attack victim

A man who had a heart attack while playing football has met the husband and wife Community First Response team who helped save his life with a defibrillator funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Last November, 35-year-old Chris Ford was playing football at the Lilleshall Sports Centre in Shropshire when he collapsed.

First to arrive were CFRs Julie and Terry Talbot of the Newport CFR scheme. With First Aiders from the sports centre already giving CPR, Julie applied the BHF defibrillator pads and the machine twice instructed to administer shocks.

While he was being taken to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, Chris was administered a third shock. He spent more than seven weeks in hospital, including 12 days in the Intensive Therapy Unit.

Meeting Julie and Terry Talbot at Donnington Ambulance Station, Chris said: “It’s absolutely amazing, superb, fantastic. Everything I have now is because of Julie.”

Chris is now back at home with wife Abigail and four children (all pictured above with Terry and Julie). He has resumed regular visits to the gym and has just played his first game of basketball since the incident.

Chris is hoping to return to work as a computer programmer later this year, and is particularly looking forward to being allowed to drive again.

He said: “Now and again I just go into the garage and stroke my motorbike!”

Terry said the key to success in this case was the quick action of staff in starting CPR on Chris.

He said: “My message to people who start giving CPR is to carry on. Julie and I have been to cases where people have stopped the compressions because they thought the patient was dead. I say never give up.”

Find out more about the BHF's funding for defibrillators

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