blank
Connect with us

Published

on

A SUPER-fit cycling enthusiast who had a sudden cardiac arrest in his sleep survived thanks to the actions of his quick-thinking wife.

Jennifer Dunne was woken in the early hours of the morning by husband Geraint’s ‘snoring’ – but amusement turned to panic when she could not rouse him.

In an extraordinary 999 call, Jennifer told the Welsh Ambulance Service she thought her 39-year-old husband had died.

The call handler told Jennifer how to perform CPR, which she did single-handedly for eight minutes until the ambulance arrived – all while the couple’s two-year-old daughter Gwen slept in the next room.

Ambulance crews shocked Geraint with a defibrillator 15 times to restart his heart.

After a month-long stay in hospital, he has lived to tell the tale.

Geraint said: “There are no words to say how grateful I am – not just to Jen for the CPR, but to the call handler, the ambulance crew, everyone.

Advertisement

“Thanks to them, I have a second chance at life.”

The Cardiff couple had been watching Love Island on television before retiring to bed, but in the early hours of the morning, Jennifer had a surprise awakening.

She said: “I woke up to the sound of Geraint snoring, which he does now and again, so I didn’t think much of it.

“I tried to rouse him but couldn’t so just assumed he was in a deep sleep.

“It was only when I nipped to the loo and came back into the room did I realise that something was seriously wrong.

Advertisement

“That’s when I called 999.”

It was Welsh Ambulance Service call handler Stephen Meaker who picked up Jennifer’s call from the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Cwmbran.

Stephen said: “As soon as Jennifer said she thought her husband had died, I knew instantly that I’d be talking her through CPR.

“She was absolutely brilliant and so calm.

“Often in a cardiac arrest scenario, people are in denial and they don’t want to do the chest compressions, but Jennifer understood the seriousness of the situation and just did it.”

Advertisement

Jennifer, 40, added: “I just remember the call handler telling me to get Geraint off the bed and onto the floor.

“I don’t know how I did it, but I found the strength from somewhere.

“The next thing I know he was talking me through chest compressions.

“I never thought I’d have to perform CPR on anyone, let alone on my husband.

“I think I was in a state of complete shock, but the call handler was brilliant at keeping me calm.”

Advertisement

Paramedic Corey Mead and Emergency Medical Technician Jo Sherrin, based in Blackweir, were first to arrive at the property.

Corey said: “It’s very rare that a 39-year-old has a cardiac arrest, so when we got allocated the call, we knew it was serious.

“I walked into the room and found Jennifer doing very effective CPR, which was probably what improved Geraint’s chance of survival the most to be honest.

“We shocked him with a defibrillator 15 times in total – we’d get him back briefly but then he’d go back into cardiac arrest.”

Jo added: “We worked on him for about an hour and 40 minutes all told.

Advertisement

“I think lady luck played a huge part – if Geraint’s wife had not woken up in the first place, it’d be a completely different story.”

Supporting Corey and Jo were Emergency Medical Technicians Chris Bayliss-Smith and Matt Collins, from nearby Roath.

Matt said: “I’ve dealt with hundreds of cardiac arrests over the years, and this is the first time I’ve helped to get someone back.

“Geraint had everything in his favour so we knew there was a fighting chance.

“I just remember thinking how calm his wife was, even assisting us by holding fluids and passing bits of kit.”

Chris added: “Considering her husband was being resuscitated, Jennifer stayed so calm and collected.

Advertisement

“The most poignant moment for me amid the chaos was seeing Geraint’s daughter on the baby monitor next to the bed.”

Colleagues from Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) Cymru helped to stabilise and sedate Geraint before he was taken to the University Hospital of Wales.

Doctors suspect it was myocarditis which led to Geraint’s cardiac arrest in mid-August, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a virus.

He has since been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms.

Geraint, who works at the Equality and Human Rights Commission as Principal, Policy and External Affairs, said: “This came completely out of the blue to us all.

Advertisement

“The only illness I have to speak of is a kidney disease which I’ve managed since childhood, but there’s no family history of heart disease at all.

“I’m fit and healthy, I eat well and I enjoy my cycling, so if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

“I know better than anyone that CPR is such an important skill, and I’d urge everyone to learn it and have a go.”

Today at Blackweir Ambulance Station, Geraint was reunited with the call handler and crew who helped to save his life.

He said: “We’ve got a young family, which we’ve waited such a long time for, and the thought of Gwen growing up without a dad pains me.

“I’ve been given the most amazing gift, which is a second chance at life.”

Advertisement

Jennifer, who works with her husband as a Senior Associate, added: “We know how incredibly lucky we are, especially given the statistics about out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

“Our daughter would not have a dad if it wasn’t for the Welsh Ambulance Service.

“We’re eternally grateful.”

(All images: Welsh Ambulance Service Trust)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Carmarthen

New special care baby unit opens at Carmarthen’s Glangwili Hospital

Published

on

By

A new specialist unit to care for some of the most vulnerable newborn babies has officially opened at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.

The new Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is part of a £25.2m Welsh Government investment into a new development scheme to obstetric and neonatal facilities at the hospital and will serve families across mid and west Wales.

Advertisement

The state-of-the-art unit has been purpose built with the focus being on the baby and their family, and the neonatal team.

The new family friendly unit will continue to provide high dependency and special care level of care to premature and unwell newborn babies with improved facilities and modern technology.

The clinical space meets national guidance which respects family privacy and dignity. There are four en suite overnight rooms for parents and a family sitting room.

The clinical area and the staff facilities will improve the working environment for the neonatal team and will be beneficial to their wellbeing. The new facilities include an appropriate area for teaching and multi-disciplinary working.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: ”The new facilities will support families during a time when they need it most. I’m pleased that Welsh Government funding has been used to create the new centre and will provide state of the art facilities for the community and for the neonatal team to provide vital care.”

Steve Moore, Chief Executive, Hywel Dda University Health Board thanked all involved in the project: “It’s wonderful to see the new unit open for babies and their families.

Advertisement

“The improved facilities are part of our continued investment in women and children’s services and will provide a much enhanced environment for special care babies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

“I wish to personally thank everyone involved in this project for their dedication and hard work over recent years. I also extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to equipment for the unit through incredible fundraising efforts and generous donations. Thank you all.”

Lisa Humphrey, Interim General Manager for Women and Children’s Services, Hywel Dda University Health Board commented: “As project director I would like to thank all of the parents, staff and the contractors for their contribution to the delivery of this scheme.

“Having an up-to-date unit enhances the delivery of high quality care that the team already provide in an environment that improves well-being for babies, their families and staff.”

Karen Jones, Senior Nurse, Special Care Baby Unit added: “We would like to thank families who have kindly donated money to enable us to purchase medical equipment such as oxygen monitors and a monitor to assist with monitoring brain activity. We have also purchased items for the family and staff sitting rooms and furnishings for the quiet room.

Advertisement

“The neonatal team are looking forward to moving into the new unit, which is spacious and light with excellent facilities for staff and parents. The environment is much improved from the previous SCBU with lovely facilities for parents to be close to their babies.”

The next stage in the project, which will see the opening of the new Maternity Ward, is expected to be completed in spring 2022.

(All images: Hywel Dda NHS)

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Self-isolation period reduced in Wales

Published

on

By

woman in white hijab covering her face with white blanket

People who test positive for Covid-19 will be able to leave self-isolation after five full days if they have two negative lateral flow tests, Health Minister Eluned Morgan has confirmed.

The two consecutive negative lateral flow tests must be taken on days five and six of the isolation period.

Advertisement

The changes are being made after a thorough examination of the evidence from Public Health Wales and bring Wales into line with changes made elsewhere in the UK.

They will come into effect from 28 January, at the same time as Wales is expected to complete the move to alert level zero.

A shorter self-isolation period will support public services and businesses by reducing pressures on the workforce through Covid-related staff absences.

Financial support through the Self-Isolation Support Scheme which will return to the original payment rate of £500 in recognition of the shorter isolation period.  People who need support with essentials such as shopping and pharmacy goods will be able to access help through their local authority and voluntary organisations. 

Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said: “Self-isolation is one of the most effective ways of preventing the onward spread of this virus and disrupting its transmission. But self-isolating for long periods can have a negative impact on our mental health and can be damaging for our public services and the wider economy.

Advertisement

“After carefully reviewing all the available evidence, we believe that testing on days five and six together with five full days of isolation will have the same protective effect as a 10-day isolation period.

“But it is really important everyone self-isolates and uses lateral flow tests in the way advised to ensure they protect others from the risk of infection.

“The response from the public has been outstanding in Wales throughout the pandemic and we want to thank everyone for working with us to keep Wales safe.

“The booster jab has lessened the likelihood of severe cases of the virus and hospitalisation so I encourage anyone who is yet to have their vaccine to take up the offer.”

If a person is currently self-isolating as a positive case, or tests positive for Covid-19, they must self-isolate for five full days and should take a lateral flow test on day five and another test 24 hours later on day six.

Advertisement

If both results are negative, it is likely they are not infectious and can stop isolating.

But anyone who tests positive on either day five or day six must continue to self-isolate until they have two negative tests taken 24 hours apart or until day 10, whichever comes first.

This change reflects the latest evidence from Public Health Wales. Guidance on self-isolation for those working in more sensitive areas such as health and care will issue shortly. 

Continue Reading

Health

Extra £2.2m pledged for Welsh hospices

Published

on

By

Hospices in Wales will receive an extra £2.2m as part of the Welsh Government’s end-of-life care review.

Of the funding, £888k will go to the two children’s hospices – Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith – and the remainder will be shared by the adult hospice services across Wales.

Advertisement

This funding is on top of the £13.8m already allocated by the Welsh Government to support the sector and strengthen bereavement support throughout the pandemic.

The announcement is part of phase one of the end-of-life care review. The second phase will look at wider end-of-life care provision from April 2022, overseen by the new programme board for end-of-life care.

The funding has been allocated in the Welsh Government’s draft Budget and will be distributed on a recurring basis from April 2022 onwards.

Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said:  “Hospices are a critical part of our healthcare service in Wales, providing essential care to more than 20,000 people in Wales affected by terminal illnesses each year, helping to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital. More than 85% of that care is provided in the community.

“This has never been more needed than over the last two years when, throughout the pandemic, hospices have been there to support patients, families and carers through the most difficult of times in the most difficult of circumstances.

Advertisement

“We are committed to strengthening our focus on end-of-life care and we will continue to work closely with the new national programme board to drive actions across government and with stakeholders to improve end-of-life care services for all.”

Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice Maria Timon Samra said: “Together with Tŷ Gobaith we have been campaigning for a sustainable funding solution for Wales’ children’s hospices. We are delighted by the Welsh Government’s commitment to act on the recommendations of the hospice funding review, an important first step in achieving this goal. 

“We thank the Minister, Eluned Morgan, Deputy Minster, Julie Morgan, and Members from across the Chamber, for their support for this Lifeline Fund, not forgetting those government officials who have also worked on this review.  

“We look forward to continuing to work with them to create a Wales that is more compassionate and supports children with life-limiting conditions and their families for whom our hospices are often the only place they can receive crisis and respite care and support.” 

Andy Goldsmith, Chief Executive of Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice, said: “I’d like to thank the Welsh Government to responding to our ask for fair and sustainable funding for Wales’ two children’s hospices.

Advertisement

“This increased funding is a major first step forward in ensuring the ‘Lifeline’ that children’s hospices provide is available for every child and family that needs us. We look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Government to fund and develop services to meet the growing and changing need for the specialist care and bereavement support that both Tŷ Gobaith and Tŷ Hafan provide in Wales.”

Before the pandemic started, approximately two-thirds of hospices’ income came from fundraising activities.

The Welsh Government’s emergency funding of £13.8m was used to support hospices as they lost income from charitable activities; protect their core services and to strengthen bereavement support.

The end-of-life care review was led by a NHS Collaborative team which analysed information submitted by hospices and held regular meetings to keep them informed of progress.

The additional £2.2m funding provides hospices across Wales with a significant increase to their core funding allocations and offers a level of certainty on which they can plan and deliver future service provision

Advertisement

(Lead image: Tŷ Hafan)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News