IN GUY’S WORDS:
In Feb, 2016 that all changed for me.
A shocking tragedy, that made me rethink my entire life purpose and question everything that I was doing both personally and professionally.
When one of my best mates “Chucky” collapsed after one of our paddling sessions, I found myself in an impossible situation. I quickly did what I thought was the right thing, Airway, Breathing, Circulation… no pulse, no breathing.. call the ambulance.. start CPR… everything will be ok… Chucky will be fine.
The ambulance arrived around 10 minutes after the phone call, and they quickly set up the defibrillator as I continued CPR on Chucky. Once they had him in the ambulance they took him directly to the Royal North Shore Hospital. He was in the best possible care. Chucky was fit, he was healthy.
He suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). He was not alone. In Australia, around 30,000 people suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) each year. Only around 6% of these people survive, because there wasn’t a defib close by – if you can get a defib on the patient in the first three minutes you increase the chance of survival to over 70%!
Unfortunately, Chucky never recovered and passed away after a week in hospital.
One of life’s most haunting questions I ask myself is “What if?” What if I had a defib in the car, What if I the cafe nearby had a defib? What if I could have put Chucky on a defib in that first 180 seconds? If any of my other fit and healthy friends, my kids, my wife were to suffer from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest? Where is the nearest defib right now? Does anyone know how to use it?
As an athlete, my life had been all about looking after myself, and a few seconds would determine winning vs losing. Since retiring, I have built my business on the idea of looking after your body and your mind was the most important thing in life. When Chucky died, I realised that it was not enough.
People need to know that 180 seconds could be the difference between life and death.
Everyday, fit and healthy people suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Whilst good diet, exercise and managing stress can reduce the incidence of heart disease, Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike anyone, any time. When it does, over 90% of these people will die. Chance are the ambulance won’t get there in that first three minutes. If a defib is put on the victim in that time we increase the chance of survival to over 70%!
Maybe Chucky would have lived, I will never know.
My mission now is to help people become Heart Smart by making sure that we have defibs available, and people are trained in how to use them confidently in the case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The reality is we can get the defib on the patient in the first 180 Seconds, to give them their best chance of living. To find out more about defibrillators and how to buy them go to my site HEART180.com.au