Thanks Bob!

I first met Bob a couple of years ago when he came along to our 2017 London meet-up. He was quite nervous as he hadn’t been in a good place since his SCA and hadn’t met any other survivors in the 4 years since it had happened.

It was a brave move to travel down solo from his native Sheffield especially as life post SCA had left him with a lot of anxiety. He needn’t of worried though as we’re a friendly lot as he found out and then posted about…

Well today was the reason I am in London and what a worthwhile and inspiring day it was. I was at a meeting organised by Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK for survivors of SCAs. With the exception of Chris who I met up with yesterday I have never met anyone else who has survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest so today was very special. 

It was nice to meet up with so many lovely people and although I have never met any of them before we all seemed to have a bond already formed by our SCAs which made it very easy for us all to get along.

I was surprised by how young everyone there was and I would guess the average age to be around 40. Most people like myself had no prior health issues and were generally in good to very good health prior to having the SCA and felt nothing beforehand and again like myself the first they knew was waking up from a coma in hospital. 

Most people who suffer from an SCA don’t survive or if they do they have quite severe brain damage. Listening to other people’s stories we all seem to have had an element of luck, either by making a better recovery than most, having someone around who knew what to do and we’re able to perform CPR quickly or as in my case being close to an external defibrillator which helped us to not only survive but survive with only minimal brain damage to enable us to still live a relatively normal life still.

No one no matter how close or well-meaning they are can ever really fully understand what we all go through emotionally on a daily basis and it was very comforting to be with people who share this. 

The most inspiring thing of the day was seeing how positive everyone one is. I for one have gained a lot from today and hopefully, others have too.
Thank you SCA UK for a very remarkable and worthwhile day

He followed this up with another post a month later and a stand out quote is the following…

…since spending the afternoon of June 24th in a room full of people in the same situation as me I have not had a single [anxiety] attack. I have certainly felt a lot better about things since that day, a few people have even commented that I seem more like my old self than I have done for a long time so it seems I am now seeing longer-term benefits from the meet up as well as short term ones…

At the meet up I chatted with Bob and listened to his story and mentioned that his would make a good blog post for the SCA UK website. A couple of months later while I was on my holiday I got an email from Bob, and ominously with an attachment. He’d gotten around to writing his story, but not the few hundred words that most people write – a hefty 10,000-word tomb! He later told me he locked himself away and bashed out the whole piece in pretty much one go. I read it there and then and it was certainly an emotional read. You can read it on our blog at “A Fridge Too Far“.

I knew it was a good piece as it touched on so many subjects common to SCA survivors, but also a few that many would not dare to air in public. It would form one of the cornerstones of the SCA UK Life After Cardiac Arrest Book. The piece was later abridged and published in the Sheffield Telegraph.

Bobs abridged story in the Sheffield Telegraph

Since then it seems he’s also become a bit of a local celebrity as he’s had several appearances on Radio Sheffield including an afternoon slot where he had quite an in-depth interview. Recently he also helped SADS UK out by telling his story at the EMAS CFR conference.

Bob with fellow survivors Charlotte Pickwick and Chris Solomons at the EMAS CFR conference

Bob’s posts in our Facebook group are usually quite varied and positive and last year he undertook a bit of a road trip visiting various parts of the country, including a bit of AED spotting.

Bobs most recent foray into the limelight is down to a event he organised for his recent 50th birthday. Not one for a quite night in, Bob put on a gig with a band playing some of the songs close to his heart. However, this gig was not only a birthday treat but he selflessly also made it a charity night and all monies raised were to go to SCA UK!

Bob’s birthday bash

By all accounts the evening was a great success, both in terms of entertainment and raising money. Earlier this week Bob dropped me a message to say he’d put over £600 into our account and that more would be coming!

So, the point of this post was to say “Thanks Bob”, for raising money* for our cause, but on reflection, I think I want to say “Thanks Bob” for all of your contributions – it’s been a real pleasure in many ways to have you in our select group.

*If you want to help our cause please see this page.

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