We are so delighted with our new website and hope you take a little time to have a look. There’s lots of useful information to come, but most of all we can’t wait to get lots more training done.
So what makes us that little bit different?
Well, we have been on a life changing journey over the last seven years and it is time to really unleash the passion we have for first aid training and in particular AED and CPR Training.
Isn’t it amazing that as we go through life we learn how to swim or ride a bike, but put off learning those potentially lifesaving skills that we may need to help an older family member, a child, a work college or even your best mate on the sports field.
We truly now understand how important these skills are. They are not difficult to learn and you can have a bit of fun at the same time.
The traumatic experience, which change our lives forever, happened on the 17thJanuary 2011 and what a journey it has been ever since.
I have thankfully always been in good health and able to work hard. Unfortunately our business was severely flooded during the extreme winter freezer in December 2010. On The 17thJanuary 2011 we had spent the day planning the refurbishment of our business and also found time to have a nice lunch. All was well, and as we were returning home, we stopped to see what work had been carried out to date.
There was some repair work being carried out on the road and the smell of tar was in the air. Graham commented that he liked it, but it’s not for me. How lucky that the work was being carried out because as a result the traffic was held up and that had a major input into my survival.
Talk about “a bolt from the blue”. Just as we approached the door I suddenly felt dizzy and in seconds dropped. I had a cardiac arrest.
A cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. In simple terms, a heart attack is caused by a blockage in the heart (plumbing) while a cardiac arrest is an electrical fault. There are lots of reasons why someone can go into cardiac arrest (heart and lungs stop working). Some of the main causes are acute heart attack, seizure, drowning, choking or electrocution.
As I came round there was a lovely lady leaning over me, asking if I had any pain. I said, “the back of my head and the right side of my chest”. I could hear some talk which seemed far away, but heard “ compressions” and “shock from the defibrillator.” I couldn’t believe what I had heard, but decided the best thing was to remain quiet, keep still and let them get on with whatever was to come next. I heard the siren from the ambulance and thought, as I always did, ”some poor soul needs help, I hope they will be okay”. Then I realised…. it was me.
In the ambulance I felt sick. As I had hit my head in the fall I was in a neck brace and on a board. So the medical attendants stopped the ambulance and lifted the board with me on it, tilted it to the side and had placed a small kidney shaped dish on the floor and said” Go ahead” this made me laugh, so I decided just to continue on to the hospital.
When we arrived at the RVH, I was rushed into the emergency resus room, where the medical team were getting me hooked up to all sorts of machines and of course meds given and blood taken etc. I remember when they started to take my boots off I thought “oh no I have 2 different socks on.” The most vivid memory of the resus room was the senior consultant came in a few times, he touched my arm and looked straight at me and said “you don’t know how lucky you are, you just don’t know how lucky”.
He was right, of course, I didn’t realise at the time, but I do know now.
I received the very best of treatment all round and cannot thank the doctors and staff enough for the wonderful work they do. All my tests came back clear and no reason or cause for my cardiac arrest has been determined. I have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD ) which will deliver a shock straight to my heart if it is needed in the future. This clever little piece of cardiac technology monitors every heartbeat and even sends all the information back to the manufacturer and then on to the RVH. That’s another story for another day!
However, I have to tell you I have two real life guardian angels. What I didn’t know, until I was in the safety of the RVH cardiac ward was that amazingly almost immediately after I collapsed, Michelle, the school nurse in Sullivan Upper was passing by, and saw me lying on the street, and Graham (who hadn’t learned CPR at this stage)in a panic.
Michelle recognised immediately the seriousness of my condition and was able to start compressions right away. As she worked on me, Phil, a CPR trainer and volunteer first responder was stopped in the traffic. He abandoned his car, quickly grabbed his defibrillator (AED) and oxygen and between them they saved my life.
They are both truly amazing first aiders… In the right place, at the right time and knew exactly what to do!
Check out Lynda’s story, on Video, below
A life changing event! …..So, what next?
Recovered and finding out more about cardiac arrest I discovered that there are 1,400 out of hospital cardiac arrests in Northern Ireland each year. Unfortunately less than 10% survive. 10% is always the figure quoted, but it is more likely less than 6 %. (84 people)
In Norway the survival rate is 25% and in Holland 21% as they teach life saving skills in school.
Time critical– Start CPR IMMEDIATELY
Commencing CPR immediately is key to survival and yet not enough people have learned how to administer good quality CPR. That’s not to say that everyone can potentially survive, but at least with good quality CPR they are given the best chance.
My thirst of knowledge around this subject grew and I started a Heartstart community training group. This is a British Heart Foundation initiative and they trained Graham and I and 2 friends Stephen and Sue to teach Basic Life Support Skills. We trained in excess of 2,000 people in the community.
So passionate about training and spreading the word about immediate CPR giving best chance of survival, both Graham and I achieved our Award in Education and Training and all the necessary First Aid qualifications….and so Avonmore Training Solutions Limited was born.
Mark joined us this year, as a Director, and brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the team. We have built a pool of associate trainers who meet our high standards of first aid and training requirements.
So here’s the vital question for you
Would you know what to do?