‘I’m lucky I collapsed so near the finish line’
Runner talks for first time about lifesaving actions
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