Dr Tom Keeble Hospital Hero

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Southend NHS Hospital heroes awards and asked for help with nominations for someone who has been extremely supportive to SCA UK for the past couple of years – Dr Tom Keeble.

We now need your help to get him as many votes as possible in the public vote – VOTE HERE – a couple of clicks is all that’s needed!

With his CARE (Care After REsucitation) study at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre he has valuable experience and insights into what life is really like after a cardiac arrest.  Cardiac arrest patients at the CTC now get some of the best care in the country  and with help from SADS UK this is being progressed even further.   Receiving an award like this can help raise his profile and the work he is doing to help patient like us – so a vote for him is a vote for cardiac arrest survivors.

He has supported us for the past couple of years, giving his time freely to do webinars to the group, answering questions for members, raising funds for the group and most notably being a driving force behind the recent Guinness World Record Attempt which was announced just as beiung successful.

Dr Keeble received 29 nominations from members of the public, over half of the total nominations received in total this year, praising him for his outstanding care.

Below are some comments from the nominators:

“Doctor Keeble demonstrates an understanding of how we feel, the overwhelming trials that we survivors face psychologically and emotionally as well as physically. I trust him, and feel safe in his care, and for me that’s top of my list of wants about a Doctor.”

“A true NHS superstar, one of a kind that has a heart of gold, thank you Doctor Tom.”

“The hospital could benefit from hundreds of Doctor Keeble(s), FANTASTIC Man.”

Of his nomination, Doctor Keeble said: “”It is an incredible honour to be nominated for the Hospital Heroes award from patients that I have treated, and I am grateful to all of them. I try to give each and every patient time to understand and explore their diagnosis, investigation and treatment options, being sensitive to the patient’s opinions and getting the right tests and treatments for the right patient, and reassuring when I can.”

Please help and


a couple of clicks is all that’s needed!


It’s Official, we’re Guinness World Record Holders!!

After a nervous wait of some weeks, we’ve heard back from Guinness World Records that our attempt has been approved and that we can officially call ourselves “Guinness World Record Holders!”

It’s been on ice, but we’ve officially done it!

Massive thanks must be given to those involved in organising and supporting the day especially Dr Tom Keeble and all yellow shirted volunteers (Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (Basildon Hospital)SADS UK, et al) for giving their time freely and making it such a wonderful day.

In fact you can repay your thanks in some way by voting for Dr Keeble in the NHS Hospital Heroes Awards that he has been nominated for.  Just click this voting link and select Dr Tom Keeble, then click OK – that’s it!

It is fantastic to get the record and a real testament to the many people involved in the “Chain of Survival” of each of the 127 survivors, so the record is as much for them as it is us.

Survivors came from all over the country with many making a weekend of it and seeing Essex in a new light I think!  Much appreciation must go to those who made the effort to travel long distances and to those where travelling is not easy.  A special thanks must go to those who made significant sacrifices to be there especially the person who broke off from their holiday and flew in from Gran Canaria and then back the next day!

Those taking part in the record attempt were shown the following video which was essentially about them and the emotional 3 years of Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK.

The day was not just about making a record but about bringing together as many as possible to hopefully help them realise they are not alone and that there is indeed Life After Cardiac Arrest!

With a great selection of talks, an exhibition and tours of the cath lab the 300+ attendees had not only plenty to keep them occupied but also a rare chance to chat with others who’d had a similar experience.

We received a good number of feedback forms completed and the response was overwhelmingly positive (92% gave the day a 5/5 and the rest a 4/5!) and again nearly everyone (98%) said that it had been helpful to them.  There were lot’s of positive comments about most of the aspects of the day but many were about the fact that this was an opportunity to meet other survivors.

Some quotes:

“The whole event was one big party, but the attempt with us all in the room, just survivors was the most emotional and happy thing that I have been subject to in years”

“Meeting other survivors and their families, it was like therapy as everyone just gets it.”

“Being part of something amazing and feeling like a majority rather than a minority! Wonderful people with whom I have made friends and something I will treasure forever.”

“So many people with similar tales to tell who had overcome cardiac arrest (with significant help from the NHS and friends and family) and seeing similarities between your own experience and theirs”

“Best experience since my SCA by far.”

“Helpers were amazing”

“Hard to complain about anything really. VERY well organised”

There were a couple of grumbles which related to the timings and we can only apologise as we had a few hiccups along the way which did throw out a little and some on the fly decisions had to be made, so some lessons learnt there.

After the excitement of the day we had a “Celebration of Life” party in the evening which seemed to go down a treat with lots of people letting their hair down and getting in the spirit of things.  Dr Keeble’s dancing and the sight of Gareth simulating resuscitation on him with an alien on his head will be a lasting memory for many! Possibly one of the most emotional moments of the day was the helicopter fly past by the Essex Air Ambulance.

“The evening event was so relaxed with people just getting to know each other – think we all feel we have made friends for life.”

“Amazing day, great organisers and the volunteers were very helpful throughout the day”

“You rock!!!!!! Simply one of the best weekends of my life!!!”

Unfortunately we will only get one copy of an official GWR certificate, but they do sell additional ones for the princely sum of £20!  More information on this will be forthcoming soon.

The whole day was largely funded by donations sourced by Dr Keeble aided by SADS UK and we thank them, the organisations involved and the raffle prize donators hugely.

Obviously as the whole event has been such a success it would be sad not to follow it up with something else, there have been some suggestions already floated in the Facebook group and so we’ll just have to see.  However, these things cost money and although SCA UK isn’t a charity you can help us make events like this happen by supporting us via SADS UK.  We have a JustGiving page which they can take donations on our behalf. If you can spare anything we’d much appreciate it.

Of course the day wouldn’t of happened without the multitude of helpers and volunteers from various organisations (see below) and we thank you all, especially Dr Matt O’Meara of Essex Air Ambulance, Tom Gudde, Kevin Maloney of Headway Essex, Dr Bill Toff and colleagues from Heartwize, Dr Marco Mion, Neil Magee, James Whitfield, Liz Sharpe of Live Your Life Therapies, James Fenwick, Stuart Wright, James Young, St Johns Ambulance, London Ambulance Service, Henry Savage (photography), Alan Larn (video), Rory Keeble (video) and Mark Penn of Penn Sports for the t-shirts.

HeadwayHeadway Essex (NB: until 3pm)

Wel Medical – Resuscitation equipment

Heartwize – Project to bring CPR/AED skills to schools

EHAAT – Air Ambulance service for Essex & Herts

Medtronic – Implant and other cardiac devices

Boston Scientific – Implant and other cardiac devices

Cardiac Science Corporation – AED’s and other cardiac devices

Abiomed – Cardiac products

Cardionovum – Cardiac products such as coronary balloons and stents

Laerdal – Cardiac products

Livanova/Micrport – Cardiac products

Zoll – Defibrillators

Abbot Vascular (formerly St Judes) – Cardiac implants