Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
FEATURE: Could you save someone who was having a cardiac arrest?
News Shopper staff Mark Chandler, Carole Hoggan, Heloise Wood and Jim Palmer learn from LAS officer Henry Dom
If someone collapsed in front of you, would you know how to save their life? Reporter HELOISE WOOD learns how one Bromley resident is teaching people across the south east what to do in the most desperate situations.
LAST month News Shopper revealed almost three quarters Bromley parents lack the skills to save their child in the event of an accident - but one man is helping to change that.
Community resuscitation training officer Henry Dom, 57, even spoke to a cardiac arrest victim who survived due to the training and said the conversation "sent shivers" down his spine.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) member works with the the British Heart Foundation on the Heartstart course: free, two-hour sessions on heart attacks, cardiac arrest, CPR, the recovery position, defibrillation, choking and bleeding.
He has his work cut out with research from St John Ambulance revealing last month 71 per cent of Bromley parents lack basic life-saving skills.
However since the Heartstart training scheme began, the out-of-hospital cardiac survival rate for members of the public getting involved has risen from 28 per cent in 2011 to 47 per cent this year.
Mr Dom, who has trained staff at the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, said: "Doing this is a lifelong dream - I originally started training to be a doctor when I was younger.
"It only takes two hours, it’s free but the biggest challenge is just getting bums on seats.
"People think they have to give the kiss-of-live but who wants to kiss a corpse?
"They could be bleeding from their mouth or be vomiting or you could be so nervous you forget how to do it.
"Anyone can do chest compressions, otherwise if someone has a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, they’re pretty much dead."
Mr Dom, who lives in Bromley South, was surprised by one of his students, Suzanne Barney when she rang up last September out of the blue.
He said: "I had taught a session with her around four months before and one day she rang me up.
"She said I’ve got a surprise for you and she put her husband on the phone. He said, 'You helped save my life'.
"I was talking to someone who had died and it sent shivers went down my spine."
News Shopper spoke to Mrs Barney’s husband, Martin, about how Heartstart training bought him back to life.
The 53-year-old, of Southlands Road, Bromley Common, said: "My wife had gone on the course around four months before.
"One day my 16-year-old son found me unconscious in my bedroom and called to Suzanne.
"She rushed upstairs, got me on the floor and started doing chest compressions. I don’t know how long she did it for - it could have been a minute or 10 minutes - until the ambulance got there.
"I’ve got a new lease of life. I got a tattoo with the date of my cardiac arrest which says, ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’.
"I wouldn’t be here today without Heartstart and Henry Dom is a saint in my eyes."
He added: "Everyone needs to that training and each workplace needs to get defibrillator."
Comments are closed on this article.