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Chris Solomon’s Story:

Chris was working as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance when he suffered a massive heart attack which triggered a cardiac arrest. A television crew were filming for Helicopter Heroes at the time and captured footage. He has since made a good recovery and spends his time campaigning about the importance of CPR training and defibrillators.

They kept the camera rolling as Chris entered the office that day with crushing chest pain, he was suffering a massive heart attack, a blocked artery caused his heart’s electrical system to malfunction and for him to suffer a cardiac arrest. His colleagues James and Lee handled the situation calmly carrying out CPR and defibrillating Chris twice to resuscitate him. The next thing Chris remembers is being put into the aircraft and flown to the Leeds General Infirmary to have a stent put into the blocked artery in his heart. Incredibly, Chris was released from hospital after four days. However, since that time Chris’s intent has been very clear, he was going to do everything in his power to make sure other people in the community were as lucky as he was. Chris’s experience is unique as it is one of very few video footage that shows life-saving skills in action from initial chest pains through to complete cardiac arrest and resuscitation.

As a cardiac arrest survivor, Chris encourages the footage to be used to educate and inspire others to train in First Aid. Not only has Chris spoken at conferences and seminars throughout the UK, he has also travelled to America and Australia spreading the word and speaking to Community First Responders, paramedics and other people working in first response about the fantastic work they are doing and inspiring people in the community to assist a person when they go into cardiac arrest.

In June this year he was involved in the Guinness World Record Attempt to get as many cardiac arrest survivors as possible together at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre. In August he was speaking in Brisbane at the Student Paramedic Society and only a few weeks ago he joined me to speak at the East Midlands Ambulance Service Conference for Community First Responders and thank them for the amazing work they’re carrying out.

Chris Says,

“I’m still standing today because of the difference CPR and early treatment with a defibrillator made to my life. It is vital that people are aware of the life-saving difference they can make when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest.
I can’t say strongly enough how important it is that AEDs are in communities. Not in locked cupboards, but out there, placed where they are needed. “Anything that gives people who suffer cardiac arrest the chance of surviving can only be a good thing. It was chance I was in the right place at the right time, but many people are not as lucky as me. They deserve that chance too.”

I support SADS UK. I am a survivor and raise awareness and funds for SADS UK and to make others aware of what to do if someone has an arrest. SADS UK also provides training and defibrillators to communities. SADS UK is a charity close to my heart (no pun intended). I am keen to raise funds to place more defibrillators in the community to help save lives.”

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