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An Emotional Reunion with a SAS Lifesaver

In the summer of 2020 on Kenmore Street in Aberfeldy, Bill Hoare suffered a cardiac arrest and was helped by 4 local children, a traffic warden, who provided CPR, Johnny Will, the Clinical Effectiveness Lead for the Scottish Ambulance Service and three other responders.

15 months on from that, in December 2021, Bill and Johnny had an emotional reunion at the Aberfeldy Christmas Market.

Speaking about the reunion Mr Hoare said: “I walked down Home Street to the market and as I walked into the market, the first stall I found was fundraising by the Tayside Mountain Rescue team.”

“There are a couple of people there I recognised, one of the GP’s, I didn’t recognise the champ in uniform, but I saw the Tayside Mountain Rescue Land Rover there and we started chatting and I overheard the fact that, the paramedic I could see lived locally.”

“So, I approached him and asked the question as the whether it was, he who resuscitated me some 15 months earlier.  The answer was yes, and it all got a bit emotional. As it does now as I think about it.”

Johnny Will the paramedic in question further added: “and the same for me, you know it was, I think the conversation that William had overheard was someone else who’s speaking with me, just actually saying thank you for a completely different job in very different circumstances and so it was already lovely that someone had approached me to say thank you for patient care in the past.”

“Then to see William in a very different state from the last time I saw him, obviously in cardiac arrest and as a paramedic, you know we take people to hospital, and we don’t often hear the outcome we don’t often find out what happens to patients.”

“So, to have somebody standing in front of you that you’ve seen in cardiac arrest, and I set off the hospital you know, not very hopeful, but you know, obviously with 10% survival rate and you certainly have no expectations, so it was. It was pretty emotional for me too.”

With time having passed from the cardiac arrest and recovery, Bill and Johnny are both keen to highlight the importance of the Chain of Survival, CPR and Defibrillators.

A March 2021 report from the Scottish Government said over 3,000 people in Scotland experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year, with Mr Will saying that, “we see in Scotland around 70 cardiac arrests a week and unfortunately only around 10% will survive and your chances of survival reduced by 10% for every minute that CPR isn’t started”.

Save a life Scotland a course that the four local children had taken part in has helped equip over 600,000 people with CPR skills.

Mr Will talking about teaching CPR in Schools said: “We’d love everybody in Scotland to know how to do CPR and it would make sense that it was taught just as part of the curriculum and, so we would definitely welcome that.”

Mt Hoare added that “It’s also made me sit down and try to remember some of the things that I learned in an outdoor first aid course which included CPR, maybe four or five years ago, down here in Aberfeldy.”

Save a Life Scotland run CPR course and more information on them can be found at https://savealife.scot/

Heart Safe provide a Defibrillator in Pitlochry and Blair Atholl and the locations of these can be found by visiting https://www.heartsafe.org.uk/aed-locations

GoodSAM is a mobile app which allows you to locate registered defibrillators https://www.goodsamapp.org/ or available to download

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