The sound of seagulls screeching in the air breaks the monotony of the rain beating down upon the gossamer chalet roof. It’s the last day of my sons rugby team tour and the weather is doing its best to remind me of typical bank holidays gone by, where the longing for some sun is often met with the same disappointment you get when opening the biscuit tin and find only the broken remains of the packet you put in there the day before. I shouldn’t grumble though as had circumstances been different a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to experience any days let alone a damp squib of a traditional May bank holiday. The calendar also reminds me that it is the 1st May, and if my memory serves me well (and I’m pretty sure it does in this case) it means I clicked a button which started off a new chapter of my life.
I must admit that I wasn’t a big user of Facebook when I clicked “Create Group” and I had no idea of what I was letting myself in for. Just over 2 months previously a group of 13 us who were part of the US based Inspire SCA forum gathered in a pub in London to what would turn out to be the inaugral meeting of what has become Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK. The meeting went really well and there were certainly connections made and nods of approval as the realisation was made that these other people “got it” and that we weren’t indivdually all going slightly mad. In the ensuing weeks emails were sent, conversations started and plans floated for a second meetup later in the year and it all sounded very promising.
Fast forward 2 years on, and the group has grown to well over 500 members, with a separate Facebook page and a new website in the pipeline to replace the current temporary one. A recent webinar with a consultant cardiologist went down rather well and we hope to follow up in the near future with another one focusing more on ICD’s. A leaflet for all those affected by an SCA will shortly see the light of day and it will be distributed to all relevant hospitals thanks to a link with cardiac charity SADS UK. There is also the third face-to-face meet-up planned for Saturday 24th June which will also see some intrepid members of the group abseil down the Mittal Orbit at the Olympic Stadium. So lots going on and do come and join us if you’ve been affected by a sudden cardiac arrest.
Thanks to everyone who’s contributed to making this the group it is and please join me in singing…
Happy 2nd Birthday to us!
After our first meet-up in February 2015, I realised I was not alone. It was the first time since my cardiac arrest the previous year that I had spoken face-to-face with someone who had experienced what I had. This was also true for my wife, who also happened to be my lifesaver. From that meet-up, the idea of SCA UK was born. Since then, we have achieved a considerable amount, primarily providing information, resources and support to others in a similar situation but also raising the profile of survivorship and the need for better post-discharge care. We are starting to get traction in this, and with the formation of the charity, I genuinely believe we have a bright future ahead and will make a significant difference in the lives of many who join our ranks.