Young dad James Scanlon says he is incredibly lucky to be alive.
A young dad who almost died after suffering a cardiac arrest on a night out in Cardiff has criticised pub-goers for taking videos of him instead of coming to his aid.
Despite losing consciousness and turning blue he has since been told that neither his friends – nor any bystanders – performed CPR on him.
“No-one knew what was happening. My friends helplessly watched on but called an ambulance which fortunately was close at hand,” he said.
“Due to the lack of a defibrillator in the ambulance I received lifesaving CPR by the paramedic who then called a second ambulance nearby which had a defibrillator on board.
“After being clinically dead for 20 minutes the paramedic gave me two shocks and the defibrillator got my heart beating – but I was still in a very critical condition and still fighting for my life.”
He said he was dumbfounded when his friends told him that some revellers in the club had decided to film or take pictures of the whole ordeal on their phones instead of offering help.
“I’ve been told there were people videoing me but I guess that’s the generation we live in,” said the dad-of-one.
“It’s the first thing people do when they see something odd happening. It’s quite sad really.
“The video was even on Facebook for a bit but it was soon taken down.”
After being taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of Wales James’ family were told that he was likely to have suffered brain damage during the cardiac arrest.
“Once stabilised I was induced into a coma for 72 hours and then given therapeutic hypothermia treatment to bring my body temperature down,” he said.
“I remember waking up in the cardiac ward and wondering what on earth had happened to me. I assumed that I’d been beaten up.
“I am so lucky to be alive as only one in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest outside hospital.”
James, who said he doesn’t remember anything that happened to him seven days prior to the incident, was diagnosed with Brugada syndrome.
The very rare condition, which is hereditary, affects the way electrical signals pass through the heart and can cause it to beat dangerously fast.
He now has his own personal defibrillator (ICD) implanted into his chest ready to shock his heart into action should the same thing happen again.
James firmly believes he is still here today so that he can look after his three-year-old daughter Erin.“That’s my main goal in life. It would be awful for Erin not to have her father. She’s absolutely amazing.
“I’m also really fortunate that this all happened on a night out as many people with Brugada syndrome die in their sleep.”
On September 16 James will mark the one-year anniversary of his life being saved by taking part in a charity run in Cardiff’s Bute Park followed by a "rebirth" party at St Peter's RFC, his local rugby club.
Money raised will go towards installing a defibrillator in the club with the rest being given to the Welsh Hearts charity.
The charity’s mission is to provide free defibrillators, CPR training, and heart screenings to the Welsh public.
James added: “The treatment and care I received from nurses, doctors and consultants in hospital was outstanding and I will never forget them.”