The Call

Post by Laura Churches

In November 2015 my dad had a cardiac arrest at home in bed. He had a down time of 30 minutes and my mum, brother and I played a part in his survival. We, between us did CPR for this time until the first responder arrived. My dad thankfully survived which is incredible given the statistics of a out of hospital cardiac arrest.

During my dad’s recovery he was searching for answers to a lot of things. “why did it happen?” “is it likely to happen again ?” “why am i still here?” But he also wanted to know about the morning it happened to him and the scenario that unfolded. We as a family tried to explain to him as best we could what happened that morning but our memory of the event was somewhat hazy.

On Facebook I had already become a member of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK group and came across a post about requesting 999 calls . I clicked on this link and I was directed to a website. On the website you click on your local area and it was here that I sent a email enquiring about whether I could possibly request my dad’s 999 recording from November ’15 and left my mobile number too.

An email was sent back almost instantly saying they have received the email I had sent and someone would reply as soon as they could. A day or so laterI received a phone call from a man who said he had received the email and just needed my dad’s consent and a form of his ID as it was my dad’s information and not my own.

I sent through a picture of my dad from a license he held and a picture of a hand written letter of consent. I waited a few days until I received through the post a CD from them with my dad’s 999 call on it.

As I opened it I was a little bit numb, as in this envelope it was a recording of one of the worst moments in life but as I looked through to the front room my dad was sitting in his chair laughing at the TV.

With the envelope now opened I took it into the front room where I told my dad what it was and if he would want to listen to it. He looked at me and then the envelope and said “yes”.

I put it into the laptop and it loads…. I press play. The recording starts by having the ringing of the telephone, then the lady answers and instantly you’re torn! For a few moments you’re back in the moment and you are “watching” the situation like a film unfold in your mind … I cried as I listened to myself crying attempting CPR on my dad at the rate of 1 and 2 and 3!

I looked over at my mum and brother who were also tearing up and then I look at my dad who is sat listening intently to what was the fight of his life. We sat there silently for a period of time… I closed the laptop a short way in as the emotions took over. We hugged each other and in that moment again we realised how lucky we were!

Over the week after we received the CD we kept going back and would listen to a little more and each time it became a little easier. Dad’s questions about that morning had been answered and he I think felt a little closure to that situation.

My advice to anyone wanting to get the 999 recording is to do it. Even if you never listen to it you know you have the option. Since listening to my dad’s, it’s actually helped.

Good luck everyone.

Remember to live life to the fullest!


Check out this page if you want to get in contact with those who were involved with your save or a recording of your emergency call.

CPR Awareness videos across the globe

In the group today a link to a new CPR awareness video was posted.  It’s from Australia and has a humorous nature but get’s the point across really well – in a similar way to the BHF’s Vinnie video a few years back.

I’ve heard a number of those who have administered CPR that they managed to remember it by recalling the Vinnie video so these kind of infomercial do work and actually save lives.

I wondered what other CPR awareness videos were out there and so did some searching on the internet and the following is what I came up with.

It’s interesting how some of the difference nations have tackled the problem but there are some common themes – humour and the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” song.

If you’ve been involved in using or receiving CPR you may want to make sure that you are ok with watching any of the videos as they can cause emotions to stir especially if you’re in a vulnerable place.

If you know of any videos that would fit in with the list please let us know at [email protected]

You you want more information about learning CPR please go to this section on the British Heart Foundation website.

United Kingdom

The most well known of CPR adverts in the UK has got to be the Vinnie Jones Hands Only video from 2012.  Done with humour and in a way that people will remember it in a good way – it works as at least a couple of our group members will testify!

A spin off of the Vinnie Jones Hands Only is one that was done for a younger audience.  Again, very well done with a humorous theme.

And a further spin off is a Lego version…

And one for CPR on babies is this St Johns Ambulance video which again uses humour and is worthwhile just for the fact it focuses on an age group where many might be even more scared to attempt CPR on.


The cast of a hit TV series “Rake” have come together to create a CPR video after they were contacted by a fan of the show who is a heart specialist.



Trust the French to do the most sylish advert, it’s in their native language but you don’t need to speak it to get what’s happening.


Possibly the most moving and poignant is the Danish video which shows two versions of what could happen when someone has an SCA.  When the bystanders know CPR and when they don’t.  Hit’s the point home very well.



An adevrtising firms rather interesting take on raising CPR awareness!  Apparently this has been used by the British Army and Spanish Police!!



And definitely NOT an infomercial, but worth a watch if you like the awkward humour of “The Office” TV show.  It’s a funny scene from the US version of the show where they are being taught first aid including CPR and it takes a rather strange turn.