I’m not a hero, I’m just someone who was in the right place at the right time. On the 1st of August, my cousin went into sudden cardiac arrest which caused her heart to completely stop. I was walking back to my house after going shopping and heard my Aunty shouting/screaming me from a few windows down. I dropped my shopping and went to see what was wrong and well I saw my cousin lay there non-responsive. She had no colour, her eyes were rolled to the back of her head, no pulse or no breath.
I think I must have just went into auto pilot, I moved her so she wasn’t slumped and just started CPR. Listening to the instructions my uncle was giving me from the caller on the other end of 999. I just couldn’t think of anything else. My aunt had opened the door ready for the paramedics. They were amazing, they arrived within 5/6 minutes of being called. When the paramedic told me she was going to take over, honestly I was relieved. In my mind though, I was thinking have I done enough, will she be okay. These thoughts were constant.
In the end there ended up being 2 ground ambulances and an air ambulance. The sound of the defibrillator will haunt me for the rest for the rest of my life. Hearing the sound of that going off again and again, bringing my cousin back every time she slipped out of life again was horrendous.
She ended up in ICU in an induced coma on life support for 3 days before being moved to a critical care ward in cardiology. Seeing someone you love on life support is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. That moment again, I was just praying I’d done enough before the paramedics came to keep her going.
She’s now in recovery with the diagnosis of long qt syndrome waiting to have an ICD fitted to help her if it happens again. Today marks her second week in hospital and second week since it happened.
I’ve had Paramedics, Doctors, Specialists, family and friends call me a hero. I don’t feel like one, I was in the right place at luckily the right time. I still can’t get my head around any of the events of that day, what happened or just anything to go with it.
I don’t feel like a hero, my thoughts and my actions make me feel like a fraud. Heroes are supposed to be brave right? Every time an ambulance goes past I feel sick and can feel panic coming back. Every time I see a sign for a defibrillator my heart goes just that bit faster. I’m hoping these feelings will soon become easier to handle but what I do know is I’m just so grateful for the fact my cousin is still here.