What started as a normal Sunday in June, quickly turned out to be a life changing day for Ben Thom-Wood.
Three years prior to June 2019, Ben had regularly swam between 80 and 100 lengths at the Snowdome swimming pool, Tamworth.
Being an active, fit and healthy man, Ben was unaware about the events that were just about to unfold. Nearing the end of his swimming session, Ben went into cardiac arrest.
A cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood round your body, commonly because of a problem with electrical signals in your heart. When your heart stops pumping blood, your brain is starved of oxygen. This causes you to fall unconscious and stop breathing. A term known as Clinically dead!
The excellent staff at the Snowdome immediately came to Ben’s rescue, removing him from the swimming pool and commenced CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation) along with retrieving an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). The emergency services arrived on scene and worked on Ben, along with the staff from the Snowdome. The first shock delivered from the AED failed to re-start Bens heart. So another cycle of CPR commenced. After another 2 minutes of CPR the AED analysed the electrical activity in his heart. A shockable rhythm was detected in his heart this time round, resulting in the AED giving the instruction of ‘Shock advised’. The second shock was delivered from the AED this time, with success. The conditions within the heart had been reset allowing his heart to start beating. Ben was brought back to life! Being critically ill Ben was rushed to hospital to receive further treatment. But he was alive!
The use of the AED along with CPR, almost certainly, saved Bens life.
Survival stories, such as Bens, are what make us even more passionate about what we do, as a charity. Every minute that passes in cardiac arrest without defibrillation, reduces the chances of survival by around 10%
You do not require any training/certification to use an AED. Just turn the device on and follow the instructions given. Don’t be a spectator. Spectators DON’T save lives.