MORE than 100 cardiac arrest survivors gathered at Basildon Hospital for a world record breaking attempt.
The 127 attendants, aged from 11 to 80, shared their stories of suffering from the potentially fatal condition at the event, organised by Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK, alongside Basildon Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (ECC) and Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome UK (Sads UK).
Paul Swindell, 52, of Benfleet, set up the Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK support group, after his cardiac arrest in April 2014, at the age of 48.
He said: “People have travelled from across the UK, by train, plane and automobile to be here at the world record attempt. Although we won’t know officially for a few weeks, I’m confident that we’ve beaten it.
"It’s been a fantastic event. It’s great to see so many survivors all together, swapping stories and being part of something as special as a world record attempt.”
The meeting proved that no matter their age, fitness of general health, anybody can suffer from cardiac arrest.
Suffering from the condition is not the same as a heart attack.
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.
The person will suddenly lose consciousness and stop breathing, or stop breathing normally.
When it occurs, it is essential a person receives CPR otherwise they could die within minutes.
Louise Fraser, a nurse at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre, volunteered to help out at the event.
She said that she was “blown away” by the amount of people who attended and shared their stories of dealing with the condition as well as their recovery.
She said: “It’s inspiring to be around so many amazing cardiac arrest survivors. “As nurses we don’t often hear about how our patients get on after they leave our care. It’s so important to have support groups and events such as this, to give survivors and their relatives that support network they need.”
As well as taking on the world record attempt, a host of seminars and exhibitions were held, including talks from cardiac specialists and charities relating to care after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The organisers are very confident Guinness World Records will confirm the attempt as successful within a couple weeks.
To break the record, 50 survivors had to participate - and they believe the event on Saturday had more than double this.
Dr Tom Keeble, a cardiac consultant, thanked everyone for taking part in the event. He said: “This day is all about the patients, education and making things better for the future.
“A huge thank you to Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK, Sads UK and all the volunteers who made it an incredible experience for both patients and healthcare professionals.”