Wayne Denny saves his younger brother with CPR

16 October 2020

Wayne Denny is thankful he learned CPR because 20 years later he used the skills to save his younger brother’s life.

The 46-year-old was working for the family business, DC Motor Trading in Low Moor, Bradford, when he heard his dad Paul shout for help and he could tell from the tone of his voice that there was something seriously wrong.

As he ran to the garage office, his brother Craig, who was 39 at the time, was collapsed on the floor, his breathing laboured.

“I called 999 and as I was doing all his observations it become clear that it was a heart-related problem,” recalled Wayne, who learned CPR as part of his Army basic training. “As I was checking the pulse in his neck, I felt it go really fast, then it stopped dead and his pupils dilated. I knew instantly he was in cardiac arrest and I had to get my hands on his chest and start pumping.

“I had all kinds of thoughts running through my mind and many doubts because it had been so long since I had learned CPR but 100% I knew that doing something was better than nothing.”

When the Yorkshire Ambulance Service clinicians arrived on scene, they provided advanced life support for around 20 minutes and used a defibrillator four times before Craig’s heart started beating again.

Wayne, a professional musician in a band called the Psychoslinkys, said: “I could tell that the paramedics were worried and they were starting to think the worst. Craig’s wife Kelly turned up and I went to comfort her and when I turned round I could see that they had got him back, I could see the relief on their faces.”

Craig was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary where he was sedated in intensive care for three days. He later had an inplantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted as a precaution. He is still undergoing tests to discover the cause of his cardiac arrest.

“The early days were a real worry because we didn’t know if he had suffered brain damage as he had been out for so long but when they started to bring him round, everything was okay, he was still my little brother,” said Wayne, who lives in Halifax.

Craig, of Wibsey, Bradford, who has two daughters, age seven and 10, said: “I can’t put into words how I feel about what Wayne did for me that day. It’s the ultimate thing anyone can do for you isn’t it? He is the reason I am alive and mentally well which is a huge thing. The paramedics and hospital staff were also incredible, I can’t praise them enough.”

Craig and Wayne’s sister Sarah, of Halifax, has now begun a fundraising campaign for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity, which funds awareness projects such as Restart a Heart Day, as a way of saying thank you for the life-saving efforts of the ambulance clinicians and to raise the profile of the importance of CPR and defibrillators.

She is embarking on a year of monthly walking and climbing challenges which will total 180 miles. She did the first on the year anniversary of Craig’s cardiac arrest on 11 September which was 22.5 miles along the coast from Filey to Robin Hoods Bay. The second was The Calderdale Way, a 50-mile loop which took place over four consecutive days from 8 October.

Sarah, who has already raised almost £2,000, said: “It’s shocking to to think that you only have a 1 in 10 chance of survival from an out of hospital cardiac arrest. If Craig had not received CPR from Wayne and the ambulance service he would have died.

“I want to help change the 1 in 10 statistic and give something back to the people who saved my brother's life. I want people to check where their nearest defibrillator is, have access to the right information to learn CPR and have the confidence to put this into practice. And most importantly, know that doing something is better than doing nothing.”

You can follow the Sarah’s Instagram page at ‘letschangethe1in10’. To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=SarahDenny8&pageUrl=1