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'For 14 minutes I was clinically dead' – Telford father-of-three thanks group who saved his life with CPR

By Lisa O'Brien | Health | Published:

A keen runner who suffered a cardiac arrest is urging people to learn CPR after his life was saved by the skills and quick-thinking of those passing by.

Cardiac arrest survivor Peter Corr, from Trench, with his wife Joanne and children Laurence, Emillia and Isla

Father-of-three Peter Corr collapsed on Wrockwardine Wood Way, Telford, just 10 minutes into his usual morning run.

The actions of a group of people helped to save his life and the 46-year-old, who was clinically dead for 14 minutes, has now been able to thank them.

"I don't recall what happened. I collapsed and I seem to have suffered a heart attack which led to a cardiac arrest," said Peter, from Trench.

"The first thing I remember is coming around and l was laid on my back.

"I remember a real tightness on my chest and gasping for breath."

Peter, who is a parent governor at Wrockwardine Wood Church of England Junior School, says he was able to put the pieces together of what happened by speaking to those involved.

He said: "At the point I collapsed someone was driving past and saw me staggering.

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"They thought it was a bit strange because I was in running gear.

"They turned around but by the time they got back to me I was lying on the ground and another runner, a woman called Melissa Oliver, had stopped and started CPR."

Dani Ward, who had been in the vehicle, called 999 while Spanish teacher Victoria Recio had also stopped to help and was relaying information to Dani to tell the ambulance control centre.

Cyclist Nigel Brady also leapt into action, helping Melissa with the CPR until paramedic Ben Gumsley arrived and used a defibrillator to bring Peter back to life.

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"For 14 minutes I was clinically dead," Peter said.

"I think the paramedic had to shock me four times.

"There was another person involved as well.

Peter with Melissa Oliver, Victoria Recio and Nigel Brady who stopped to help

"He went off to the leisure centre and was able to get their defibrillator and bring it back to the scene.

"By that time it wasn't needed but I would like to find him to thank him for what he did."

Peter, who regularly runs marathons for charity, was taken by ambulance to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford where he stayed for nine days, following his collapse on September 12.

"I had a head wound from where I had fallen" he said.

"Fortunately it wasn't a major injury.

"They did identify a narrowing in one of my arteries which is probably what caused it.

"I had to have a stent fitted.

"Melissa and Ben visited me on the ward. I was keen to contact Melissa because they said it was her quick intervention that got me through it.

"That is why I am so keen to promote people learning CPR."

Peter, who is a self-employed clinical psychologist and is now recovering well, says CPR played a 'crucial' part in helping to save his life.

"They have kept my family together because of it," he said.

"Just the impact of someone taking the time to do that is massive.

"I have been working my way around everyone who helped to thank them.

"There were no warning signs. I feel lucky. I've got another life. It was due to the CPR keeping my blood flowing around me that was keeping me alive.

"Everyone came together at the right time and I've had so much support afterwards. It's quite affirming of people and human nature."

Mr Gumsley, 24, who has been a paramedic for six years, said that the work of those first on the scene had kept Mr Corr’s heart beating manually before they could use the defibrillator.

He said: “We shocked him four times in the space of eight or nine minutes and his heart came back to normal rhythm.”

The treatment moved Mr Corr into a status known as “return of spontaneous circulation”, which is the first step to recovering from a cardiac arrest.

Mr Gumsley said: “Normally people stay completely unconscious when they reach that stage but on the way to hospital in the back of the ambulance he started waking up and came round.

"He was telling me his wife’s name and giving me her contact number and we were just trying to keep him calm.”

He added: “Everything fell into place. The fact people stopped to help him, the fact we got there so quickly, his age.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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