Four Not Out

It seems only last week I was writing a piece on the 3rd anniversary of my “minor” cardiac incident and referring to Paul Swindell’s doorstop post. And now, I am at the fourth anniversary, slightly older, slightly thinner, slightly greyer, and, possibly, slightly wiser.

I am not sure that another year has given me any more insight into surviving cardiac-arrest or dealing with the aftermath. I view my life now as pretty much back to normal interspersed with the odd hospital visit and check-up (not arrest related but definitely cardiac related).

It wasn’t always so, the first year post-resuscitation was a struggle psychologically, as I think, it is, pretty much for everyone. So if I were to offer any advice I would say that things can improve and recovery can be made, although this comes from the perspective of someone who didn’t really suffer very much because of his arrest and I do appreciate that, for some people, some families, the “recovery” can be slow or non-existent.

I have questioned, over and over, what happened to me and why and how I survived and I can only rationalise it as the result of randomness: the chain of random events that lead to my arrest, the chain of random events that lead to me surviving. My faith in a god or supernatural being has not been shaken or diminished, as I never had any faith in the first place, nor do I now. So I feel intellectually satisfied that my world-view has remained intact. I have a sanguine and very comforting view of my life: I didn’t exist for the first 14 billion years of the universe, and, pretty soon, I won’t exist again (although I almost “ducked out” early) so I feel a joy, every day, of simply being here and being alive. And, if there is anyone to praise for being alive, it is not some non-existent deity, it is those people who worked so hard in July 2016 to ensure that I remained here.

I had a brush with Corona in March, not something I would recommend as I did face the irony of actually considering the fact that, although I may have dodged the bullet of cardiac-arrest, I was going to succumb to Covid-19!

My life has definitely changed from pre-arrest, in fact, I do actually feel as if the “old David” died and a “new David” replaced him, even though this appears to be contradictory. My life has changed direction slightly, I am marginally more “famous” than before as my arrest was captured on CCTV (looking very fat in a pair of swimming trunks) which has proved useful for training and raising awareness (of cardiac-arrest and CPR, not obesity), I have given talks about my experience and I have become an ambulance service Community First Responder (CFR) and have paid back the compliment of surviving by helping to resuscitate more than one person in cardiac-arrest. I also feel I have made a contribution to society by serving people as a CFR during the current pandemic (via several layers of PPE).

Beyond this, I am not sure I can offer any great insight or sage-words, especially during this rather weird time of Corona semi-lockdown.

So, in cricket parlance….I’m four, not out.

CARE Team Survey

Our friends Dr Tom Keeble and Dr Marco Mion of the Cardiac Arrest Recovery (CARE) team would love it if you could assist in the continuation of the survey that was started at our #Not Alone conference last year.


This is an important study and completing it can help further the drive to improve cardiac arrest recovery care in this country (and further afield).


If you completed the survey at #Not Alone, there is no need to do it again.

Thank you for your cooperation!


Dr Marco Mion, Clinical Psychologist

Dr Thomas Keeble, Consultant Cardiologist

Complete Survey Now

Bored?

Recently I’ve seen so many people on Facebook say that they’re bored and think that’s a massive shame because this lockdown period is such a great opportunity to get some positive things done.

I’m sure all of us can think of things to do around the house, but you’re the only one who sees that. However, one thing that you could do in the comfort of your home is to create something that will not only help yourself but potentially also many others, a perfect win-win.

So what is this thing?

It’s simply to give back by doing something for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest community by writing a piece for our website. This can be as a straight story piece for our journal page or if you have something more to say, as a piece for our blog.

Many previous contributors have reported that writing their contribution has had a cathartic effect on them and there is actually a trauma treatment called Expressive Writing which has good outcomes purely from just writing 15 minutes a day for a few days on the trot.

We have a good range of topics on our blog but there are a few missing that crop up from time to time in the group, and so it would be helpful if we had something on them. A couple that comes to mind are:

  • Having an SCA in older life
  • Having an SCA as a young adult
  • Being a parent of a child who’s had an SCA
  • Pregnancy (after SCA or during SCA)
  • Sporting achievement post-SCA
  • Personal achievement post-SCA
  • Overcoming SCA induced mental health issues
  • Overcoming a challenge (related to your SCA)
  • Travelling
  • Life with an ICD or other implant-related to your SCA
  • How your life is better post-SCA

Hopefully, you get the idea!

We’d love to receive your contribution and you never know it may end up in a future volume of our book Life After Cardiac Arrest (Vols 1 & 2 available on Amazon)

There are some more ideas and guidelines on submissions on the blog submissions page.