Cardiac Arrest Survivors Support Restart a Heart Day

09 October 2018

Cardiac arrest survivors are supporting Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s (YAS’s) attempts to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to around 25,000 youngsters on Restart a Heart Day.

On Tuesday 16 October 2018, YAS hopes to smash the milestone of providing a total of 100,000 schoolchildren with the life-saving skill since the event began five years ago.

Yorkshire’s gold medal winning Paralympian and ten times World Champion, Hannah Cockcroft MBE, will be visiting one of the 116 participating secondary schools – Crossley Heath School in Halifax - to see the training in action.

Hannah, who suffered two cardiac arrests within 48 hours of being born which resulted in brain damage and left her with deformity to her legs and feet and weakened hips, said: “Restart a Heart Day is a fantastic initiative! Thousands of people will learn CPR on 16 October who have never had this vital training made available to them before.

“The more people who know CPR, the more lives can be saved. It’s that simple. I’m really excited to be involved, not only to hopefully learn the skill myself, but to see Yorkshire take charge of their own lives and look after others.”

She will be joined by Lizzie Jones, widow of Danny Jones, Welsh International and Keighley Cougars Rugby League player, who died aged 29 after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match in May 2015.

Fifty-seven-year-old Neil Davidson was saved by his quick-thinking son Oliver who did CPR when he stopped breathing at his home in Halifax. Oliver had learnt the skill 10 years earlier while at Rishworth School, near Halifax.

Neil said: “He learnt CPR when he was 15 and performed it on me when he was 25. Once learnt, it’s a skill you never forget. Restart a Heart Day is so important to me because it’s helping people to save lives, like my son saved mine.”

Oliver, who was visiting his parents from Australia when his dad suffered his cardiac arrest, , said: “When I was learning it in school, I was doing it as a precaution so I knew what to do; never did I guess I would have to use it in real life, let alone on my own father.

“Every school should be engaging in CPR training for students - you never know when you might need to use it.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Community First Responder Anna Roberts - who has saved her father’s life four times - is leading the CPR training at Outwood Academy Shafton in Barnsley.

Sixty-nine-year-old Brian Roberts, who lives in Barnsley, has complex health problems which have resulted in him suffering numerous strokes, heart attacks and cardiac arrests over the last nine years.

Luckily for the former steel worker/miner, Anna has always been there to step in and perform CPR when it is needed - with incredible results.

Anna, who lives in Carlton, near Barnsley, said: “I feel really proud that I have the skills and confidence to perform CPR on my own dad. I switch off from the fact that he is family and put all my energy into saving his life; it’s only afterwards when he’s over the worst that it hits me. My dad regards himself as very lucky and is incredibly supportive of events like Restart a Heart Day.”

Curtis Randle, from Knaresborough, was 45 when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Two of the town’s Community First Responders provided CPR and used a defibrillator to restart Curtis’s heart.

He said: “It’s undoubtedly due to the very swift and efficient action of the Community First Responders and their application of CPR, together with the use of the defibrillator, that I’m here today. I’m delighted that so many schoolchildren are going to learn a life-saving lesson on Restart a Heart Day.”

David Pratt, from Hornsea, suffered a cardiac arrest in March 2018. Three off-duty Community First Responders immediately started CPR and used a defibrillator to restart David’s heart.

He said: “Their quick response and knowledge and expertise saved my life. Without these volunteers, the outcome of the incident could have been very different, for which I will be forever grateful. I’m giving Restart a Heart Day my full support, because it’s so important that everyone learns this life-saving skill.”

Currently in the UK, less than one (8.6%) in ten people survive a cardiac arrest. If we achieved the same survival rates of countries like Norway (25%), where CPR is taught in schools, an additional 100 lives could be saved each week - the equivalent of approximately 5,000 every year.

Jason Carlyon, Clinical Development Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, who helps to organise the event, said: “CPR is a simple, easy intervention that can save the lives of patients in cardiac arrest. In 2017-18, 43% of cardiac arrest incidents in Yorkshire were witnessed by a non-clinician who could potentially have started CPR. Community CPR events like Restart a Heart Day are essential so we can provide as many people as possible with this life-saving skill.”

The event - sponsored by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity - is organised in partnership with the British Heart Foundation, which supplies free Call Push Rescue training kits (including manikins and a tutorial DVD) to participating schools as part of its Nation of Lifesavers campaign, Resuscitation Council (UK), St John Ambulance and other partners.

The life-saving initiative - pioneered in Yorkshire - has this year been adopted by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation to encourage mass CPR training on a global scale under a World Restart a Heart Day banner. Participating countries include America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India and as well as many European countries.

Participating Schools

East Yorkshire - 16
Beverley Grammar School
Beverley High School
Bishop Burton College, Beverley
Cottingham High School
Headlands School, Bridlington
Hessle High School
Howden School
Hull Trinity House Academy
Hymers College, Hull
Newland School for Girls, Hull
Pocklington School
Riverside Special School, Goole
St Mary’s College, Hull
Wilberforce College, Hull
Wolfreton School and Sixth Form College, Willerby
Wyke Sixth Form College, Hull

North Yorkshire - 33
All Saints RC School, York
Archbishop Holgate’s School, York
Bedale High School
Bootham School, York
Cundall Manor School, Helperby
Eskdale School, Whitby
Fulford School, York
Harrogate Grammar School
Harrogate High School
Holy Family Catholic High School, Carlton
Huntington School, York
Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, York
Richmond School
Risedale Sports and Community College, Catterick Garrison
St Francis Xavier School, Richmond
Scarborough Sixth Form College
Selby College
Selby High School
Settle College
Sherburn High School
Skipton Girls’ High School
St Augustine’s School, Scarborough
St Peter’s School, York
Stokesley School
Tadcaster Grammar School
The Minster School, York
The Mount School, York
The Read School, Drax
The Rubicon Centre, Selby
The Skipton Academy
The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form, Leyburn
Upper Wharfedale School, Threshfield
York College

South Yorkshire - 24
All Saints Catholic High School, Sheffield
Al-Mahad-Al-Islami, Sheffield
Ash Hill Academy, Doncaster
Aston Academy, Sheffield
Dinnington High School, Sheffield
Ecclesfield School, Sheffield
High Storrs School, Sheffield
Handsworth Grange School, Sheffield
Holy Trinity 3-16 School, Barnsley
Horizon Community College, Barnsley
Maltby Academy, Rotherham
Maple Medical PRU, Doncaster
Notre Dame High School, Sheffield
Outwood Academy City, Sheffield
Outwood Academy Shafton, Barnsley
Saint Pius X Catholic High School, Rotherham
Sheffield Springs Academy
South Axholme Academy, Doncaster
Springwell Learning Community, Barnsley
Stone Hill School, Doncaster
The Hayfield School, Doncaster
The Rowan Centre PRU, Rawmarsh
Thomas Rotherham College, Rotherham
Yewlands Academy, Sheffield

West Yorkshire - 43
Airedale Academy, Castleford
All Saints Catholic College, Huddersfield
BBG Academy, Birkenshaw
Brighouse High School
Calder High School, Mytholmroyd
Calderdale Pupil Referral Unit, Halifax
Carlton Bolling College, Bradford
Castleford Academy
Crofton Academy, Wakefield
Fulneck School, Leeds
Garforth Academy
Health and Caring Services, Leeds City College
Heckmondwike Grammar School
Holmfirth High School
Honley High School
Institute of Islamic Education, Dewsbury
Kettlethorpe High School, Wakefield
Kirklees College, Huddersfield
Leeds City Academy
Leeds West Academy
Lightcliffe Academy, Halifax
North West SILC, Leeds
Ossett Academy and Sixth Form College
Outwood Academy Freeston, Normanton
Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley
PRISM Independent School, Bradford
Pudsey Grangefield School
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield
Queensbury Academy, Bradford
Ralph Thoresby School, Leeds
Royds Hall Community School, Huddersfield
Royds School, Leeds
Ryburn Valley High School, Sowerby Bridge
Shelley College, Huddersfield
Silcoates School, Wakefield
St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Dewsbury
The Brooksbank School, Elland
The Crossley Heath School, Halifax
The Halifax Academy
The North Halifax Grammar School
Upper Batley High School
Wakefield Independent School
Wetherby High School