Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK (SCA UK) was founded with the goal of helping those who have survived or been affected by sudden cardiac arrest. It all started when an SCA survivor brought together a group of survivors and family members for a meet-up in May 2015. This gathering led to the creation of a Facebook group, which aimed to provide a friendly, non-judgmental, and empathetic platform for survivors to connect and find support as they navigate their recovery journey.
Over the years, SCA UK has continued to grow and evolve, offering an online support group and opportunities for group meet-ups and activities. The organization recognizes the importance of connecting with others who understand the experience and offers survivors the chance to connect with one another and build relationships through these events.
SCA UK is committed to providing a safe and supportive community for those impacted by sudden cardiac arrest and helping them on their journey to recovery. The organization’s focus on fostering a community of understanding and empathy has made a significant impact on the lives of its members and continues to be a source of hope and comfort for those who have been affected by sudden cardiac arrest.
A sudden cardiac arrest can leave you feeling lost, confused, and with many questions. You may have survived the event, but you might not know how to continue with your life after such a traumatic experience.
That’s where Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK comes in.
The group provides a friendly, non-judgmental, and empathetic space where members can discuss various subjects related to life after a cardiac arrest. These include health and travel insurance, driving and the DVLA, implications of an ICD, physical and mental health issues, medications, and survivor stories. Regular polls help members understand where they are in their recovery journey, and for many, simply having someone to talk to who understands their experience can provide a great sense of relief.
Survivors of sudden cardiac arrest often face various health, psychological, and practical challenges, including anxiety, fatigue, depression, neurological issues, cognitive and memory problems, headaches and brain fog, lifestyle changes, work and financial considerations, and difficulty returning to social activities. Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK supports survivors through these difficulties and helps them navigate their recovery.
Close family members of cardiac arrest survivors can also be affected and might experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK provides a supportive community where they can find advice and support from others who have had similar experiences. Whether you’re a survivor or a loved one, Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK is here to help you on your journey.
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.
On Boxing Day 2017, my world came crashing down when I suffered a cardiac arrest. My incredible engineer husband performed 8 minutes of CPR on me, this was the week of my 41st birthday, and I had no previous cardiac history.
Although I am an NHS Nurse Manager of 23 years and have been involved in many cardiac arrest situations, I was suddenly the patient and left in a state of hopelessness and feeling very alone. Following a Facebook search some three months after discharge, I found SCA UK, who suddenly made me feel I was no longer alone. Through them, my husband and I had the most incredible support from people who simply got how we felt.
It has been an incredible honour to return the favour and support other people at various stages of their journey, and I am incredibly proud to become a trustee of this charity.
I have been a member of SCA UK since the very beginning, maybe even before the beginning, as I was at the very first meeting in London, where the idea was conceived. I am an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivor and have been through a similar journey to many of our survivor members. I am passionate about helping as many others as possible to navigate their way through the minefield of survivorship. I’m hoping that the skills I have developed both through my working life as an engineer/businessman and as a survivor can help SCA UK to achieve that goal as it moves into a new chapter as a registered charity. I’m extremely proud to be a trustee of that charity and am excited to see where this new journey takes us.
I joined SCA UK in 2016, shortly after my wife suffered an out-of-hospital Sudden Cardiac arrest while we were shopping. Luckily, I was able to step in as I knew CPR. She was diagnosed as idiopathic and has an ICD, and has since made a good recovery. The support we have both received through SCA UK is immeasurable and encouraged me to participate more and more with the group, whereby I eventually was invited to be a moderator of the group.
In 2021 I retired from Police Scotland, where I had served for 30 years, and I am now Resilience Coordinator with a local authority in Scotland. I hope the skills I have developed through my working career and the experience of being a lifesaver and husband to a cardiac arrest survivor will allow me to give something back to SCA UK as a Trustee.
Dr Thomas Keeble
As a cardiologist seeing patients and families with cardiac arrest every week, it is clear that care pathways in the UK are erratic. Frustrated by the system that cardiac arrest survivors and their families receive no standardised follow-up offering, and SCAUK is their only support, I want to work with survivors and families to make a better future level of care for every survivor of cardiac arrest in the UK. My most outstanding achievement to date in medicine is the Guinness world record for the largest gathering of cardiac arrest survivors in our Essex centre with SCA UK in 2018 – a record which remains intact (127 survivors). I am honoured and delighted to be asked to be a trustee of such an amazing, dynamic and patient-focused organisation. I now know what genuine co-production of survivorship looks like. I will not let you down in pursuit of better care for all patients and families who suffer a cardiac arrest in the UK and beyond.