A few weeks ago on a lovely Saturday morning I was at my gym about to have a coffee following a workout. Before my lips touched my flat white there was a commotion outside as someone had, we thought, passed out in the car park.
It was a baking hot day so I ran out with some water and saw another gym member lying on the ground, completely still. There were now about six of us there and it became obvious he wasn’t breathing, we also saw that he had swallowed his tongue.
Major panic for a few seconds and then as a group we went into action. One person pulled out his tongue, I got him into the recovery position but after calling the ambulance moved him onto his back whilst someone started chest compressions. To say I was frightened silly at this stage is an understatement. It’s a bit of a blur to be honest but people were calling out for a Doctor and then a guy from the business next door came running out with a defibrillator. We all took a breath and a rhythm began between us all. Following the instructions on the defibrillator and the ambulance service, we shocked him four times. He was down for 14 terrifying minutes but we managed to get him back.
An ambulance and air ambulance arrived and took over – they couldn’t believe that he was breathing and that his heart was relatively stable. As he’d been down for so long everyone was worried what affect that would have on his brain and his general recovery. He was slipping in and out of consciousness, not lucid and he looked terrible. Then his wife arrived and as soon as he heard her voice he opened his eyes and smiled. It was the most amazing thing to witness and we were all in tears.
He was rushed to hospital, straight into theatre where he had an operation to unblock an artery (he’s a non-smoking, clean living, fit as a fiddle 58 year old) and miraculously he has made a full recovery. He came to see us at the club a couple of weeks later with bottles of champagne for all those involved in saving his life.
This whole experience, whilst traumatic made me realise that no matter what the situation is, if you have a team around you pulling in the same direction with the same objective, you can achieve almost anything.
Cheers to Chris and his lovely wife who really brought him round!