Just before Christmas in 2020 Peter Martine , a 57 year old former Westpac Rescue Helicopter Crewman and active Surf Lifesaver, was talking to his wife and daughter when he suddenly slumped into a chair and became unresponsive.
Peter had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, but quick-thinking wife Teena and daughter Macy recognised that he was not breathing and that he didn’t have a pulse. Macy immediately dialled 000 and Teena lifted Peter from the chair, laid him down and immediately commenced CPR.
Macy advised the 000 operator that CPR had been commenced at which point the 000-operator assisted Teena over the phone by counting out loud to keep up the speed of CPR compressions. The ambulance had arrived just 8 mins after the 000 call was made and Peter received 2 shocks from their defibrillator which successfully put Peter back into a sustainable rhythm. Peter was quickly transferred to hospital where he received cardiac stenting for a blocked coronary artery. He spent a total of 6 days in intensive care, making a full recovery with no brain injury.
Nine weeks after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest Peter returned to work as an Operations Assistant in the Radiology Department at John Hunter Hospital. He is eternally grateful for the quick actions of Teena and Macy in recognising his cardiac arrest and commencing the chest compressions that undoubtedly saved his life. Peter’s story highlights the vital role that bystanders have in the survival outcomes of someone who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest in the community.