‘I’m lucky I col­lapsed so near the fin­ish line’

Run­ner talks for first time about life­sav­ing ac­tions

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A 35-YEAR-OLD man has spo­ken pub­licly of his or­deal for the first time af­ter he suf­fered a heart at­tack 100 me­tres from the end of a 20-mile run with Hilling­don Ath­letic Club, in Ruis­lip, ear­lier this year.

Kevin Twomey, who lives in Hemel Hemp­stead, had his life saved when he col­lapsed near a new de­fib­ril­la­tor that had been in­stalled only six months ear­lier.

Thanks to the quick think­ing of two nearby trainee car­diac nurses and a club mem­ber, Mr Twomey has made al­most a full re­cov­ery and has said their help and the de­fib­ril­la­tor saved his life.

Mr Twomey said: “I think I am lucky to be here – lucky that I col­lapsed so near the fin­ish, that med­i­cally trained peo­ple were on hand so quickly and that an AED (au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tor) was avail­able.

“It def­i­nitely saved my life.”

Mr Twomey col­lapsed just 100 me­tres from the fin­ish of Hilling­don Ath­letic Club’s Finch­ley 20 in March.

The two car­diac nurses – one who was watch­ing the race and an­other who was run­ning – and club mem­ber Nigel Ealand ran to Mr Twomey and be­gan chest com­pres­sions re­alised he breath­ing.

A third mem­ber of the pub­lic ran to the club­house to re­trieve the AED.

Af­ter the live-saving shock re­vived him, he was rushed to hos­pi­tal by ambulance.

The trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence was made even more shock­ing as Mr Twomey has no his­tory of heart trou­ble and is a non-smoker, but tests later re­vealed he had a nar­row­ing of the ar­ter­ies.

Hilling­don Ath­letic Club in­stalled the de­vice af­ter a for­mer mem­ber made a do­na­tion, and it was de­liv­ered by man­u­fac­tur­ers Car­diac Science in part­ner­ship with Lon­don Ambulance Ser­vice .

Mr Twomey added: “This could hap­pen to any­one at any time so it’s good to hear that work is be­ing done to make sure peo­ple tak­ing part in events like this have ac­cess to a de­fib in an emer­gency wher­ever you are.”

David Smith, chair­man of the ath­letic club, said: “As a club it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to show a duty of care to our members and guests so when we re­ceived a do­na­tion from a for­mer mem­ber we spent it on an AED.

“We are so glad now it was in place on the day.”

The Finch­ley 20 is the old­est road run­ning race in Bri­tain and has been go­ing for 83 years. when was they not

n SHOCK TAC­TICS: Kevin Twomey (left) with Nigel Ealand, who saved Kevin with the AED

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