A FATHER from Powys is supporting a new campaign urging more of us to learn CPR, after surviving a cardiac arrest at his home in June.

Save a Life Cymru is encouraging more of us to learn lifesaving CPR with its ‘Touch Someone’s Life’ campaign, which launched on Restart a Heart Day, on Friday, October 16.

A huge 80 per cent of cardiac arrests happen in the home and can happen to anyone at any age. Save a Life Cymru is encouraging everybody to learn CPR and have the power to save a loved one in their hands.

Wyn Hope, from Rhayader, was at home on the afternoon of Saturday, June 6, when he became tired and his arms started feeling numb. Despite being fit and healthy, and not having had any previous heart problems, Wyn knew right away that something was wrong with his heart.

The 50-year-old said: “I’d been feeling tired all day, but when it suddenly got worse I realised something was very wrong.

“My wife Sarah called an ambulance, but we knew we needed to act quickly. Nobody in our house was confident performing CPR, but I could think of one person nearby who would know what to do.

“We sent our 19-year-old daughter Shauna to the local garage down the road where my friend Andrew was working. Andrew is an ex-firefighter and had CPR training.

“As soon as he arrived, he could tell I was going to have a cardiac arrest. He called another local firefighter, Rhys, to get a defibrillator from the fire station and bring it to the house.

“Things moved very quickly then. I’d managed to stay very calm throughout which I’m convinced held off the cardiac arrest, but it was getting harder and harder. I remember saying to Andrew ‘I can’t hold it off anymore, I’m going now’. Then I said goodbye to him and my heart stopped.”

Andrew started performing CPR on Wyn immediately for a minute and 40 seconds until the defibrillator arrived and he was able to restart Wyn’s heart.

“I was taken to Morriston Hospital in an air ambulance and rushed straight into theatre where they put a stent in,” added Wyn.

“I stayed in hospital for four days and I’ve been at home recovering ever since. Nobody knows why I had my cardiac arrest – whether it was down to a clot or an irregular heartbeat – so I’ve had a few follow-up appointments to try to get to the bottom of it.

“One thing I do know is that, without Andrew and Rhys, it would have been curtains for me. The timing of everything was so important; if Andrew hadn’t been there when I had my cardiac arrest and hadn’t been able to start CPR right away then I wouldn’t be here today.

“Things move so quickly with a cardiac arrest that you can’t always rely on the paramedics. You need people around you who know what they’re doing.”

Save a Life Cymru is committed to improving the chances of survival for people who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrests, by providing people in Wales with an opportunity to learn lifesaving CPR skills.

The ‘Touch Someone’s Life’ campaign is laying the foundation for saving lives across Wales by encouraging everybody to take an interest in learning CPR. As part of the campaign, a new CPR training video has been created which can be found on its website.

Launched in October 2019, Save a Life Cymru aims to bring together organisations from across Wales, including public, charity and third sectors, to build on their existing relationships to help the Welsh public develop their CPR and defibrillation skills and confidence to carry out bystander CPR and defibrillation.

Len Nokes, chair of Save a Life Cymru, said: “Each and every one of us has the power to save a life. Performing CPR and using a defibrillator can make the difference between a full recovery and someone not leaving the hospital.

“Too many of us have either never learned these life-saving skills or don’t have the confidence to use them if we needed to.

“Learning CPR and using a defibrillator is easy. With the majority of cardiac arrests taking place in the home, we can make a real difference to survival rates in Wales simply by increasing the number of people who are able and willing to perform CPR and use a defibrillator on a loved one.”

For more information, visit the Save a Life Cymru website at http://savealifecymru.wales/.