Cardiac arrest survivor to return to spot where he was revived to organise lifesaving lesson

Roger Baines (centre) with Matt Critchfield, Anna Linsmith, James Warren and Chris Lynch. Photo: EEA

Roger Baines (centre) with Matt Critchfield, Anna Linsmith, James Warren and Chris Lynch. Photo: EEAST - Credit: EEAST

A cardiac arrest survivor will return to the place where his heart stopped to deliver a lifesaving lesson.

Roger Baines, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, was playing football at the UEA Sportspark on March 28 when he felt dizzy and collapsed.

The 51-year-old was saved by his quick-thinking teammates and trained Sportspark staff who performed CPR and shocked him once with a defibrillator before the arrival of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and East Anglian Air Ambulance staff.

He is making a strong recovery after spending two weeks in the cardiac unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and having an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted in his chest.

Mr Baines now wants to give something back by raising awareness of the value of lifesaving CPR and having accessible defibrillators in public places. On Monday, October 16, he will return to the Sportspark after organising a CPR training event on Restart a Heart Day.

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Staff from EEAST will be on hand to teach lifesaving skills in the Kiff Matheson suite between 10am and 2pm on the day.

Mr Baines, who is a French language and applied translation studies academic, said he owed his life to the many 'incredible' people who rushed to his aid and the 'outstanding' treatment he received at every stage. He particularly praised his 'magnificent seven' from the Sportspark - Chris Lynch, Tom Dart, Luke Copping, James Warren, Matthew Critchfield, Anna Linsmith, and Iain Kermode.

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He said: 'I did not know how to do CPR before and I am looking forward to the training. I am back at work now and playing football at the Sportspark again.'

On Restart a Heart Day, the Resuscitation Council (UK), the British Heart Foundation, the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance join forces with all of the ambulance services across the UK to teach as many young people as possible CPR. Last year, 150,000 young people across the UK took part in the largest ever CPR training event of its kind.

Andrew Barlow, Community Collaboration Manager for Norfolk, said: 'Every second counts when someone is in cardiac arrest and early CPR and use of a defibrillator dramatically increase the chances of survival.'

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