Inspiring stories

On 22nd November 2013, I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest whilst video-calling my mother.

I was sat on the sofa with my wife, watching some Friday night television and video-calling my mother when I suddenly collapsed and went into a VF arrest.


At 5:45am on 2 March 2013, Laura suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while sleeping.

Thanks to her boyfriend, who began CPR immediately, and the prompt arrival of paramedics, who administered three shocks from an AED, she regained consciousness.

Here, she shares her story.



Debbie Phillips is fundraising for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), in memory of her late father, Ken Gribben.

Ken passed away after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) whilst refereeing a game for Manchester United’s ladies team.

Debbie says: “He was a very fit man and refereed for both Cheshire and Manchester FA. He was only 61 years old.”



Whilst out celebrating at Pizza Hut in Bexleyheath, Paul Wilkins from Welling, Kent, collapsed and died on his 22nd birthday.

Here, Paul’s mum, Pam, shares her story and tells us why she is campaigning in Paul’s memory for more AEDs in the Bexley borough.


In August 2013, former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallachercollapsed during a dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

Bernard had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Fortunately, the hotel had a defibrillator. Thanks to the immediate action of staff with CPR and early live-saving shocks from a defibrillator, he survived. He then went on to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted to prevent further cardiac arrests.


As Graham and Heather Richards celebrated 10 years of marriage with their three beautiful young children on holiday in Scotland they had a lot to be happy about.

Little could Heather have known the family’s world was about to be turned completely upside down. 

Graham, a fit 41-year-old, was out on his daily lunchtime run when, without warning, he collapsed with sudden cardiac arrest.

Though bystanders were on hand to administer CPR, no AED (automated external defibrillator) was available to shock Graham’s heart back into normal rhythm.

And despite being rushed to hospital he tragically passed away.

Just over a year on from his death, Graham’s wife Heather tells Arrhythmia Alliance about the impact losing him has had on the family and of their determination to do something positive in his memory.  


When Mark Moore collapsed with sudden cardiac arrest without warning in the middle of a football match histeammates thought the worst.

There are eerie parallels with Mark’s story and that of fellow cardiac arrest survivor, Fabrice Muamba. 
But perhaps the most important parallel of all is the fact they were saved thanks to prompt treatment with CPR and a defibrillator.

Here Mark and his close friend and club chairman, Chris Bishop, recall that day in August 2012.


In March 2012 footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch suddenly during a televised FA Cup match between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur.

Fabrice had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, without any warning signs or symptoms,  which caused his heart to suddenly stop beating.

Fabrice was given medical attention on the pitch, including CPR and defibrillation from an AED (automated external defibrillator) as frantic efforts were made to restart his heart.


Standing holding his young daughter Esme in his arms on a beautiful spring day in March 2012, in the idyllic setting of Sherwood Forest, proud dad Adrian Hall couldn't look happier or healthier in this perfect family picture.

Scarcely could 36-year-old Adrian have imagined less than 24 hours after his wife Taryn had captured this precious moment, their world would be turned completely upside down. And Esme, along with the couple’s other young daughter, Seren, would be in a hospital waiting room as Taryn was being given the horrendous news he had just a 5% chance of pulling through. 


‘Be careful,’ Jean Hooper told her sporty husband Brian and young daughter Tia on many occasions, concerned that their regular exercise made them more vulnerable to a sudden cardiac arrest.

Little could Jean have known it would be her who would suffer one, aged just 30. 


Lionel Levine had a sudden cardiac arrest on an airplane on the way back from a holiday with his wife Susan in April 2012.

His heart stopped three times and an AED was used on board to restart it and save his life.



Joe Sievier had a sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of a public meeting.

Police officers immediately started performing CPR on Joe and an air ambulance was flown to the scene.

An AED was used on Joe and he went on to make a full recovery.



Alex Davis had been on the rugby pitch a minute when he scored a try for his team, but then suddenly felt unwell.

Alex, already diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, came out of the game and went home but suffering chronic palpitations he got his neighbour to take him to hospital.

While in hospital Alex suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and doctors worked to resuscitate him.

He is now determined to raise money for Hearts & Goals and has set himself the challenge of climbing Mt Kilamanjaro.


Unfortunately sudden cardiac arrest survival stories are too rare.

A staggering 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK every year.

AEDs don't guarantee survival, but they do increase the chance of someone surviving from 5% with just CPR to 50%.

Laurence Kidd will sadly never know if an AED could have saved his mother Rosemary Kidd.


Mark Wendruff was leaving his office on a cold December morning in 1994 when, without warning, he collapsed with sudden cardiac arrest.

A colleague who was with Mark immediately began performing CPR on him and a paramedic rushed to the scene before using an AED to shock his heart back into rhythm.

He was rushed to hospital where he had an ICD implanted and returned home around a month later.

Nearly 20 years on, Mark reflects on how a combination of his colleague's lifesaving skills and an AED saved his life that day and how things could have been very different.


Chris Solomons has helped to save many lives in his career as an emergency medical dispatcher for the air ambulance.

But on July 24th 2010, things would be very different.

What started as a normal day for Chris quickly turned into an emergency when he fell ill on arriving at work.

Chris suffered a cardiac arrest brought on by a massive heart attack and his colleagues fought to save his life just feet away from the desk from which he had helped so many others through a similar situation.

Incredibly, the whole thing was captured on film, because a BBC crew had been filming the team for its Helicopter Heroes series.


Watch Chris's incredible story unfold in this remarkable piece of footage:


Have you or a family member been affected by sudden cardiac arrest? Tell us your story here.


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Whether you survived SCA, you know someone who wasn't so lucky, or you've been affected in any way, connect with others who have had similar experiences to you.

The forum has been a great support.  It is reassuring to speak to others who have been affected by sudden cardiac arrest and to understand that we’re not alone." Richard, Cardiff

Join our 'Sudden Cardiac Arrest & Heart Attack' forum where you can ask questions, share your stories and support each other.

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