Last week I attended a strategy day at Essex Air Ambulance which was the first of several they were holding to ensure their service was the best it could possibly be. The first of these focused on out of hospital cardiac arrests, of which makes up 40% of their missions. I was honoured to be asked to tell my story as the opener of the session especially as one of the paramedics who saved my life was attending. It was great to give him a hug again and catch up, especially as the last time I met him I was a bit of an emotional wreck!
Anyway, during the course of the afternoon a question was put to me that I didn’t really feel able to answer as I have no memory of my cardiac arrest or the time around it. So, I put the question to the group to see what the response would be.
The question was as follows:
“As a survivor, were you aware of what was happening to you during your SCA?”
134 members responded to the poll, which had the options of Yes, No and Maybe. The results are displayed below and as you’ll see most survivors were totally oblivious to it all, which is probably a good thing.
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.