Cardiac arrest survivor who was shocked 13 times meets team of lifesavers

Cardiac arrest survivor who was shocked 13 times meets team of lifesavers

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A Buxton grandfather who needed 13 shocks from a defibrillator to save his life has met the ambulance team who came to his rescue.

Anthony Openshaw, 64, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in April while enjoying a cup of coffee at home in Buxton.

His wife, Wendy, frantically called 999 and followed the instructions given to her over the phone to perform CPR on her husband until a paramedic, an ambulance crew and an air ambulance arrived to take over.

Anthony needed 13 shocks with a defibrillator to resuscitate him, and he was then air lifted to North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary in Stoke.

The Openshaw family have now had the chance to thank Anthony’s lifesavers – 999 call handler Lesley Dudley, paramedics Louise Barlow and Karl Bexon, and technician Jessica Bate.

Anthony’s daughter, Hollie, explained that he had been complaining of heart burn during the day and her mum wanted to take him to hospital, but he wanted a coffee first.

She said: “He was standing in the kitchen having a cup of coffee when he suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing.

“He came round initially, but then he went again and mum called 999.”

Anthony’s heart stopped six times that afternoon, both at his house and at hospital.

Wendy, who has been married to Anthony for 16 years, said: "I really thought I was going to lose him. 

"I was relieved when Jess took over CPR as my arms were killing me, but then I didn't want to leave Anthony's side. I stayed beside him for the next 48 hours."

The bricklayer spent 19 days in hospital where he had stents fitted in his heart, but he now recovering well at home spending valuable time with his family. 

Anthony said: "I've been very lucky with my health all my life, so having a heart attack happened completely out of the blue. 

"It shouldn't have happened but it did, and I was very lucky with how everything turned out. 

"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Wendy performing CPR and knowing how to do it, with the guidance from the 999 call handler, which gave the paramedics time to arrive and treat me, and the air ambulance happened to be in Matlock at the time so the doctors arrived really quickly.

"It has been fantastic to meet them again today to say thank you."

On average, only 8% of people who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital survive. 

Knowing CPR saves lives because minutes matter in a cardiac arrest. Here is a step by step guide on what to do.

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