Man reflects on second chance at life a year after suffering cardiac arrest on night out
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A year after collapsing in cardiac arrest while enjoying an evening out in Great Yarmouth, survivor Luke Chapman is reflecting on his second chance at life.
Mr Chapman, 43, was enjoying the dog racing at Yarmouth Stadium with 16 members of family on April 29, 2017, when he collapsed.
His sister-in-law Rebecca, an NHS physiotherapist, jumped into action to perform CPR supported by staff at the track and Richard Greenwood, an advanced specialist radiographer at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital who was also enjoying a night out.
Although both work for the NHS, neither had ever performed CPR before – but with Mr Chapman’s life hanging in the balance, they worked together until the paramedics arrived.
After the ambulance team arrived, Mr Chapman was shocked three times by a defibrillator. He was taken to hospital where he spent a week recovering and underwent surgery to have a miniature dual pacemaker and defibrillator fitted.
Mr Chapman has had to give up his role as a business consultant due to complications from the incident, and although he still finds himself physically exhausted at times, when looking to the future he is full of optimism and gratitude.
He said: “I can feel nothing but thankful and lucky that I am here and still have the chance to enjoy the little day to day things with family and friends.
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“I think you should just live life to the full and whatever happens, happens. You can’t predict anything and therefore just accept it. Most importantly, never miss an opportunity. I have no regrets or ‘if onlys’. I think anyone who has been through a major life changing event needs to focus on the positives, however small they may be.”
Although Mr Chapman was previously trained in CPR from his FA coaching badge training, his outlook towards reacting in an emergency situation has changed since his experience.
“I know I would have been nervous and a little reticent if called upon,” he said. “I now know that you just need to dive in and do what you can because the quicker the response the better the outcome. I also am now involved in awareness and charity around this issue and realise just how few people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest due to lack of training, understanding and even defibrillators regionally.”