Healthy man from Didcot suffered a cardiac arrest

A 35-YEAR-OLD man with no underlying health conditions has told how he suffered a cardiac arrest on a short bike ride. Steve Paley from Didcot, went cycling with his fiance Stacey Pritchard, 30, on New Year’s Eve. However, after a short distance he began to feel unwell, then suddenly collapsed.

The couple, who had been on a health kick for most of 2020, exercised regularly and ate healthily, and had lost an impressive four and a half stone between them. They set off on a bike ride to Blewbury and planned to see the New Year in at home later. Read also: Firefighters race to stables on fire

Mr Paley, who manages a small truck washing business, had no underlying health conditions or any indication that there was a problem with his heart. He said: “I remember setting off but the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital.” Ms Pritchard said: “We’d only cycled about a kilometre when Steve stopped and got off his bike and told me he wasn’t feeling well.

Then it looked like he fainted, but when I couldn’t wake him up, I began to panic.” Ms Pritchard had started CPR on her fiance then flagged down a passing car, driven by a local teacher called Sarah, who then called 999 before taking over CPR. A second driver stopped to assist who fortunately turned out to be an off-duty paramedic, Steph White, who took over CPR.

Nikhyta Patel from SCAS demonstrating first aid.

Nikhyta Patel from SCAS demonstrating first aid.

File photo of a paramedic demonstrating chest compressions. Further people also stopped to help, including a former ambulance technician and another ambulance worker. Within a few minutes, a rapid response vehicle and paramedic Rob Dalziel had arrived.

Read also: One death and six injuries in water incidents in Oxfordshire Two shocks from a defibrillator were administered which achieved ROSC – a palpable pulse indicating his heart had restarted – and they then put a LUCAS device on his chest, which carries out mechanical chest compressions. He was then put into a coma at the roadside and taken on blue lights to the cardiac team at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

SCAS ambulance.
pPicture: Jon Lewis

SCAS ambulance. Picture: Jon Lewis Mr Paley said: “I was placed in an induced coma for a day-and-a-half and had a small defibrillator inserted in my chest which can detect irregular heartbeats and deliver a shock to fix abnormal heart rhythms if needed.

“I’m well on the road to recovery and whilst I’m not back at work yet, I’ve got no other health issues or long-term damage from what happened to me. “I just feel incredibly lucky and it’s all down to the amazing people who came to help me when I needed it.”

First aid training.

First aid training. The couple have now signed up for first aid training and set up a fundraiser on Go Fund Me called ‘Steve’s Second Chance’ and raised more than GBP500 for the South Central Ambulance Charity.

The charity is currently focused on growing bystander CPR through community engagement and funding the life-saving LUCAS devices – two important factors in Steve’s cardiac arrest emergency that significantly contributed to his survival and recovery. Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

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