2019 Sudden Cardiac Arrest Event update 1

We’ve had a few queries recently about our big cardiac arrest event later in the year and so we thought it best to let people know where we are with things. We’re still very much in the early stages of organising it but we have some more information that we can share.

We would also like to drop a hint that we aim to announce something very exciting quite soon which could be a game changer in national care for cardiac arrest survivors. We can’t say too much at this point, but if you really would like to give back in any way please put on hold any fundraising ideas you have as we may have a job for you 😉

Location

As previously announced we have booked the Barnsdale Hall Hotel for Saturday 28th September. This stunning hotel is near the town of Oakham and is in a lovely setting on the edge of the beautiful Rutland Water. It’s a very central location and has some great facilities including a spa, swimming pool, putting, pitch & putt and tennis courts!

We have on hold the rooms (~50) in the hotel until the end of July. These are priced at a discounted rate when you quote the code SCAUK. For example, a double room is £85 and a deluxe £100, both with breakfast included. The discount extends to a Friday stay also.

There are a number of rooms that are accessible by wheelchair and two have disabled facilities. There is another hotel nearby although it is likely this will not be at a discounted rate and we will also be listing some alternatives for accommodation.

Educational Sessions

The majority of the daytime event will be held in the conference centre, which is separate from the hotel and just a few minutes walk. There is a small incline between the two buildings and should anyone need it there is a golf buggy available for transport.

The conference centre provides us with a number of rooms where will be able to hold our educational sessions. We are currently working on these and with the recent poll in the group, we have an idea of the topics people would like to hear about. The top options being…

  • Dealing with memory issues
  • The psychological aspect of survivorship
  • Dealing with fatigue
  • Putting an AED in your community
  • Ask the cardiologist
  • Living an active life post SCA

Please remember these are just provisional and subject to change but should give you an idea of the sort of subjects we will be looking at. We would also hope to repeat some of the drop-in sessions such as 1-2-1 counselling, CPR/AED training and ICD Q&A.

Overall we hope it will be similar in content and feel to last years very successful Guinness World Record schedule. One of the key points from the feedback of last year was that people wanted more time to be able to mingle with others and so we will aim to space the sessions out accordingly.

Evening Event

An evening of celebrating life – part 2!

Following on in the footsteps of last years bash we have a live band and DJ lined up and we’re hoping that we can again have the talents of fantastic balloon artist and magician Trevor Cline. Sustinence will be provided by the hotel in the form of a BBQ.

Schedule (provisional)

Friday 27th

7pm – Informal gathering for evening drinks

Saturday 28th

  • 11am – 5pm – displays and stands from industry supports
  • 11am – 1pm – Morning educational sessions
  • 1pm – 1:45pm – Lunch
  • 1:45pm – 5pm – Afternoon educational sessions
  • 5pm – 7pm – Free/Mingle time
  • 7pm – 12pm – Evening event

Sunday 29th

TBA – Social gathering /event

Cost

Evening event currently under discussion, but daytime event will be FREE!

Why should I come?

As a cardiac arrest survivor you might not realise you are quite unique, survival rates are only 8% in the UK and the chances are you won’t have met another survivor. This follows for partners, lifesavers and close family. Our cardiac arrest events are one of the rare opportunities where you get to chat and interact with others who’ve been through a similar experience and “GET IT”.

We asked for feedback on last years event and the response was overwhelmingly positive…

92% gave the day a 5/5 (and the rest a 4/5)!

98% said that the event had been helpful

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”

“…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.”

“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.”

“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!!!”

Rest assured that along with our partners SADS UK and the Essex CTC we will endeavour to make this the best day of your life since your SCA.

So we do hope you can join us this year and we look forward to seeing you in September!

SCA UK 2019 Event Announced

September 28th!

Mark it in your diary as this will be the 2019 SCA UK annual event date, to be held at Barnsdale Hall Hotel, on the edge of Rutland Water.

A central location so hopefully accessible by many of you.

More details on the weekend and prices etc will be made available as we finalise them, but you can rest assured it will be a great weekend!

Special rates for rooms are being organised so don’t book anything just yet.

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