Benjamin’s story: “I went to my knees. Then it goes black.”
With his whole life ahead of him, 17-year-old Benjamin Culff collapsed during a sudden cardiac arrest.
While studying for his A-Levels, Benjamin was working part-time as a waiter in a restaurant in Tamworth, a village in Staffordshire, England. A regular gym-goer, he was fit and strong – but as he walked to collect some glasses in the restaurant, he suddenly felt unwell.
“My heart started pinging,” he says. “Something was going wrong. I started slouching up against the wall, then I dropped to the ground. After struggling for a bit, it was just… nothingness.”
Benjamin’s colleague Josh rushed to help him.
His voice shaking, Josh recalls what happened next.
“Benjamin was on the floor. He wasn’t moving. I thought he was dead. I’d seen him 20 minutes before. Up on his feet. Talking. Laughing. I thought we were too late. I thought there was nothing we could do.”
But Josh, who had no experience giving CPR, was guided over the phone by the NHS emergency operator to give the repeated forceful compressions to Benjamin’s chest that would help keep blood flowing to his vital organs.
Meanwhile, other colleagues had located their workplace’s defibrillator, the machine that could reset Benjamin’s heart to a normal rhythm with an electric shock. With every minute without defibrillation reducing his chances of survival by 10%, it was a lifeline.
There was just one problem.
No one knew how to use it.
“I was very, very nervous,” says Josh. “I asked around – was anybody trained? Nobody was.”
With help from the NHS operator, Josh applied the AED and it administered a life-saving shock to Benjamin’s chest, lifting his body off the ground.
At first, there was no response and Josh began to fear the worst.
Then the machine administered a second shock – and suddenly Benjamin began to regain consciousness.
His life had been saved.
“My story is testament to the fact that sudden cardiac arrest really can strike anyone, anywhere at any time,” says Benjamin.
“Thanks to the quick action of my courageous colleagues and the fact that there was an onsite defibrillator in my workplace, I was given a second chance.
“Since my cardiac arrest, I have dreamt of there being a mini defibrillator that could be easily used in homes and offices. It’s amazing to see that Rapid Response Revival has realised those dreams.”
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Benjamin was given another chance. He was incredibly fortunate to have access to a nearby defibrillator.
But most people who experience a sudden cardiac arrest do not get a second chance. In the UK today, 150 people die every day from sudden cardiac arrest. It can strike anyone, regardless of age or health status.
Survival rates are low – and many people don’t know how to help someone. They don’t know where their nearest defibrillator is located and often, they don’t know how to use it.
CellAED®, developed by Rapid Response Revival®, has been created to increase access to defibrillators and overcome barriers to their use. The world’s first personal, portable defibrillator, it uses game-changing technology to improve the chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest.
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