Cardiac arrest survivor thanks crew who shocked him back to life

Cardiac arrest survivor thanks crew who shocked him back to life

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A Derby man whose wife woke up to find him in cardiac arrest and struggling to breathe has finally had the chance to thank the ambulance team who shocked him back to life.

Phillip Hulland, 57, a butcher from Spondon, suffered a heart attack as he was getting out of bed on 25 August last year.

His wife of 31 years, Mandy, who luckily had previously learned CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a first aid course, called 999 and pulled Phillip off the bed and on to the floor to begin CPR.

Call handler Carl Ford provided Mandy with CPR instructions until ambulance crew Julie Richards and David Gregg arrived to take over just six minutes later, followed closely by  Paramedics Rowan Hussain, Karl Bexon and Matthew Wyse.

Thanks to Mandy’s effective CPR and the advanced medical intervention from the ambulance team, 20 minutes after Phillip stopped breathing they were able to shock his heart back into rhythm and save his life.

Mandy said: “I had been fast asleep, and suddenly Phil started gasping, but he wasn’t breathing.

“I called 999 and then had to pull him off the bed to do CPR. I thought he was going to die, but I knew I had to do as much as I could to stop that from happening. 

"I was so relieved when the paramedics arrived to take over.

“We were so lucky. Everyone was there at the right time.”

Phillip spent a month at Royal Derby Hospital recovering and receiving further treatment. 

As the doctors are still unclear why Phillip suffered a cardiac arrest, he has now had a pacemaker fitted, and is on the road to recovery. 

Phillip said: "I have no memory from that morning, and nothing for about 12 days after it. 

"If my wife hadn't been there for me, I wouldn't be here today.

"Mandy and the ambulance crews have given me a second chance at life, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

"There aren't enough words in the dictionary to thank them all enough."

Mandy explained that it was the CPR training she had received in her role at a school that gave her the confidence to help her husband. 

Both Mandy and Phillip are now urging everyone to take the time to learn CPR, and would like to see it taught routinely in schools.

Mandy said: "It's an extremely important skill to have, but if it hadn't been for my job I never would have learned it.

"When I learned CPR, I had no idea that I would ever need to use it. But that training meant that I knew what to do when Phil stopped breathing - it was like instinct kicked in."

Paramedics David Gregg and Rowan Hussain explained that someone has to begin CPR on a cardiac arrest patient as soon as possible in order for them to have a chance of surviving.

David said: "Minutes matter in a cardiac arrest. CPR keeps the blood pumping around the body so that the brain is still getting oxygen.

"Without immediate CPR, the patient's chances of survival are very low and they are likely to suffer severe brain damage.

"People often worry that they are going to do something wrong or hurt their loved one, but some CPR is better than none at all, and out 999 call handlers will talk you through the process.

"Thanks to Mandy's actions, not only has her husband survived, but he has been able able to go back to work, and they have been able to continue life as a family."

You can learn how to do CPR and save a life at the British Heart Foundation website.

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