HEART’S THE WAY TO PARTY!
Allan in hospital after his heart attack and, right, reunited with Chris who helped to save his life
A Wishaw man who “technically died twice” has celebrated his 60th birthday with the firefighter who saved his life.
Allan Hainey, 60, was travelling home on the A1 near Cove after a holiday when he suddenly felt a searing pain in his chest before passing out.
Fortunately for him, firefighter Chris Kendall, from Kent, happened to be passing by and spotted Allan outside his car with his wife Margo.
“A woman was already trying to perform CPR on me when Chris saw us at the side of the A1 and pulled over,” Allan explained.
“He took control and worked on me for 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived. We subsequentally found out Chris is a firefighter, and one of his main duties is teaching other firefighters and services how to perform lifesaving techniques such as CPR.
“If you’re going to get lucky, you may as well get really lucky!”
Police IT worker Allan was rushed to Edinburgh General for surgery, where it was discovered he had suffered a myocardial infarction so severe it blew three holes in his heart.
He later found out that his survival was totally down to Chris’ Recovery CPR work.
“I technically died twice in the ambulance on the way to the hospital,” he said. “My surgeons subsequently told me without Chris I would not have made it.
“I’d never had any incling of any heart trouble before. I ended up needing a pacemaker fitted but I’m on the mend now, thanks to Chris.”
In a bizarre twist, a mix-up in communication saw Chris being told by emergency services that Allan had died en route to the hospital last June.
When Allan got in touch to make sure Chris knew how thankful he was for saving his life, he didn’t realise he’d also be letting him know he was still alive.
“I text him my name. I gave him the time and the date and I said you saved my life, do you fancy meeting up?
“I didn’t even know – he thought I was dead. He was absolutely ecstatic, he said he was jumping up and down having thought for weeks I’d passed away.”
After an initial catch up, Allan decided to invite Chris to his 60th birthday party at Houldsworth Bowling Club at the end of last month. Chris accepted and travelled up from Kent to join the party.
Allan added: “It was great to be able to see him and tell him; you’re the reason I’m still here for this.
“My family have been an incredible support for me as well. My daughter Gayle, son Fraser and wife Margo have all been so supportive as I’ve recovered. Without them I wouldn’t have made it.”
Now Chris and Allan are pleading with people to take up free training opportunities to learn CPR and become lifesavers themselves.
“We a re n ow both campaigning and promoting to get more people to train in CPR,” Allan said.
“Workplaces can get people to come out to offices for mass training or you can go into a fire station and learn there.
“It’s so simple and you could learn to save someone’s life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for someone k n owi n g this technique.”
Every fire station in Scotland has a Call Push Rescue training kit that can teach anyone to use CPR in just 30 minutes. For more information visit www. bhf.org.uk/ cpr.