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Stride with SADS UK in Hyde Park, London to raise awareness and funds to STOP SADS on 13th September 2020. Find out more here

Paul Alexander: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Story

In May 2017 my life changed forever, everything I believed in was challenged and now I've set myself some goals to help me feel like the old me, my new normal.

My story:

If I had to describe myself I would say Father, Husband and Runner. I thought by staying fit, I wouldn't have to worry about every being unwell. In 2016 I started to have a few issues, at first I thought it was asthma, but after a few tests I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, it's a problem where my heart would beat too fast, so after a small procedure and a few weeks recovering, they told me I was good to go. 6 weeks after this was the Vitality 10k in London, it seemed to be a good race for me to get back to doing what I love.

I don't remember the day, not waking up, going into London or starting the run, the last thing I remember was Sarah and the kids picking me up from the airport, I'd been working in Iceland for a few weeks. Apparently when I was woken up from an induced coma I knew it was my heart, not long after opening my eyes and with tubes still in my throat I tapped my chest while looking at Sarah. The first few days were really hard for me, confused as to what had happened, so much information to take in. I kept asking the same questions over and over.

I'd had a cardiac arrest (not a heart attack) the thought is that my heart was beating so fast it couldn't keep going and stopped. I was so lucky that shortly after hitting the ground I was given good CPR and after 15 minutes a defibrillator arrived and I was back! After 2 weeks in hospital and being fitted with a defibrillator of my own I was sent home to restart my life.

My recovery has been great, although a little stop start on the fitness front and one very close moment when I was nearly shocked, but fast forward to now and I'm back running.

To kick start my fundraising I wanted to do something different, way out of the comfort zone for the old and new me. So cycling a 100 miles around London and Surrey seemed to fit in the Prudential Ride London – Surrey 100 event 2019 for SADS UK.

I'm supporting the charity SADS UK, they're a cardiac charity that aims to save lives, providing information, funding research and medical equipment to prevent premature sudden cardiac death. By working in the areas of Research, Prevention and Emergency Care lives have been saved as a direct result of the work of SADS UK.

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