Restart Heart

Restart a Heart Day: School children attempt CPR world record

With the support of The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance, along with all regional ambulance services, thousands of young people in the UK will be given the opportunity to learn how to help restart the heart of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

On Tuesday 18 October we’ll be working together to help train as many children and young people as possible and to make every child a lifesaver.

Our aim is to train more than 100,000 young people CPR.

You can request a trainer to teach CPR at your school this Restart a Heart Day. Please contact your local ambulance service.

Tom's story: Teen thanks life savers who brought him back to life after 30-minute cardiac arrest

16-year-old cyclist, Tom Reid, would like to say thank you to his life savers after he suffered a cardiac arrest on 29 March 2015 whilst competing for Bournemouth’s Primera Sports team at a British cycling event in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham.

The teenager was helped by a group of people including an off-duty St John Ambulance paramedic and volunteer who performed CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) on him for 30 minutes until extra medical help arrived. Tom was then given six shocks from a defibrillator.

Tom was airlifted to hospital and put in a medically-induced coma. His family were told to expect the worst. Tom’s mother, Sally, said: ‘He was in a stable condition, but the doctors told us they didn’t expect Tom to live, because his heart had been stopped for so long. They said we should get the rest of the family together to say goodbye.’

Cyclist Tom cardiac arrest victimDoctors planned to wake Tom on the Tuesday morning, but everyone was surprised when his eyes flickered open and he squeezed his parents’ hands, less than 24 hours after he fell ill. Thanks to the people who gave him life saving CPR and the teams at Nottingham and Southampton hospitals who have looked after him since, Tom, from Christchurch, has been given a new lease of life. Although his life savers have been identified, they are yet to be reunited with Tom and his family.

Alan Weir, Head of Clinical Services at St John Ambulance, said: ‘There is no doubt that the prompt first aid Tom received was the difference between life and death. It takes three minutes for the brain to start to die from a lack of oxygen so if help is not received by then, it gives little chance for a person to survive a cardiac arrest. The first aiders’ actions were truly heroic.’

You can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

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