We can never stress enough the importance of having defibrillators at large community centres/events. As the official supplier of First Aid Training and Defibrillators for parkrun Australia, we are proud to provide the support and equipment necessary in case things do go pear-shaped.
Did you know a defibrillator, if administered within the first minute of collapse, raises a victim’s chance of survival to 90%? After 10 minutes without defibrillation, that rate drops to 5%. It’s pretty scary stuff.
Unfortunately, one such incident occurred when a runner collapsed at the Mullum Mullum parkrun in Ringwood a couple of days before Christmas.
Brett Orpwood, a Dad of two, was running with his son Charlie, 8, when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
Fellow runners, including two nurses and a doctor, performed CPR and rushed to grab a defibrillator at the start-finish line, 800m away.
Paramedics then took over and rushed Mr Orpwood to Box Hill Hospital, where he spent 12 days before returning home.
Mr Orpwood, 45, — who had no prior history of heart problems — said he was “getting better all the time” and incredibly grateful for his second chance at life.
“It’s an unbelievable and very fortunate case that I had so much good help around me,” he said. “I get another chance to see my family grow up and live my life with my wife and kids.”
Organiser Scott Hawkins was running just ahead of Mr Orpwood and heard him hit the ground with a thud.
He said Mr Orpwood would have died without the defibrillator and specialist help from the other runners.
“If he was running on his own or on another day, he would have died,” Mr Hawkins said.
“To have a defibrillator on hand and the right people there was certainly the difference between life and death for Brett.”