In early 2021 Dave Cleland, 54 years old, had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and collapsed at home. Fortunately, just the day before Dave’s SCA his wife Bernie had completed a refresher session in First Aid, this included CPR training. With the help of the call handler, Bernie applied her CPR skills and started the chain of survival - ultimately keeping Dave alive before he received specialist treatment from Liam Sagi, volunteer SARS Critical Care Paramedic. When Liam arrived on scene it was clear Dave was in a critical condition and getting agitated, he required urgent intervention. After a quick assessment, Liam sedated Dave to control his airwave and breathing and ensured he was stabilised before East Anglia Air Ambulance could airlift Dave to hospital for specialist cardiac care.
Early intervention and speed of response is critical with SCAs, every second counts and bystander CPR, as Bernie did that day is vital and can increase the chance of survival by 60%.
Since recovering from his experience Dave has made it his mission to encourage friends, family and work colleagues to learn CPR, he has given a handful of presentations. He has also returned to work with BT at Martlesham Heath.
Bernie Cleland has thanked Liam for what he did that day:
“Liam was one of the first on scene attending in the role of a volunteer critical care paramedic. Not only did he give my husband the clinical care that he needed, he also went out of his way to explain to me in simple terms what was happening as my husband was being prepared for the EAAA helicopter. We were completely stunned when we later found out that Liam was doing all this as a volunteer in his own time, and there are no words to express how thankful both my husband and myself are.”
Dave's Story | SARS | Suffolk's Emergency Medical Charity