As a survivor of a cardiac arrest I consider myself extremely lucky to stll be here. In the UK roughly 8% of those experiencing a cardiac arrests survive and only a paltry 3% survive similar circumstances to my own i.e. unwitnessed.
You may of heard of “Pay if forward” (doing good deeds to others in the hope that they will do the same) and whilst I’m sure my wife wasn’t thinking of that as she hammered on my chest doing CPR, for me it was the ultimate good deed – she helped save my life.
On my journey of recovery I’ve found that I’ve been able to “Pay it forward” in my own way by doing some of the things I’ve done and relaying what survival is like. It wasn’t something I did consciously, but over time I’ve found that talking and sharing about my experience has made things better, not only for me, but also for others.
It’s very easy to dwell on your own troubles and your thought processes can sometimes send you in a downwards spiral. Changing the focus to others, changes the way you think. Not only are you able to put yourself in a different mindset, but you can reflect on how you dealt with your own situation and maybe improve any future response.
Giving is better than receiving, so the adage goes and since starting the SCA UK Facebook group I’ve found it to be very true. There is a great feeling to be had when you can answer that question that has been troubling someone. Knowing that the turmoil that you went through can ease the pain for someone else is not only worthwhile, but also very rewarding.
Contributing to the group in any way can be one of the easiest ways that you can “Pay it foward”. Sharing your experiences and giving advice can not only be mutually beneficial, but also spread hope. And believe me, HOPE can make a whole lot of difference.
Here are some more suggestions to help you “Pay if forward”
Post your story in the Facebook group
Write an article for our blog – see here for more on this
Attend one of our meetups
Distribute our leaflet to your local cardiac unit
and finally checkout our page for other ways of giving back
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.