Up-and-coming British cricketer Ben Aldred knows he is lucky to be alive.
On October 2, the fit 18-year-old joined his uncle Andy Tracey while visiting family in Western Australia on his way to the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy in Adelaide for a scholarship. ) together on the path to Mindarie Beach. .
“I don’t have much memory of what happened,” Aldred said.
“As far as I can tell . . . I basically just fell on the sidewalk.”
Despite hundreds of tests, his cardiac arrest remained a mystery to doctors, but Aldred knew he had fast-acting paramedics and his uncle thankful he was still here.
Aldred, a hero at his hometown Bexley Cricket Club, ran on the hallowed grass of Lord’s Cricket Ground with a 68-match unbeaten run in the Nations Cup final a week before his trip to Australia.
But just three days after visiting Mr Tracy and his wife Jackie in Perth, the teenager is on the hook for his life when he suddenly collapsed without warning near Rosslare Park beach. Mr Tracy thought his great-nephew had just tripped and hit his head, but when he turned him over and saw his face turn blue, he knew something more serious had happened and despair set in.
Even though he hadn’t updated his first aid training at the Quinns Mindarie Surf Lifesaving Club two years ago, his immediate CPR — breaking one of Aldred’s ribs on the first compression — was crucial. It means Aldred has a “shocking rhythm” in mind that allows medical staff to bring their stricken patients back to life.
Fortunately, a passerby, a local GP, was among a group of civilian assistants whose tasks included stabilizing Aldred’s head and helping Mr Tracy count his compressions at the right moment, which It was Tracey Roberts, a federal MP for Pierce.
Mrs Tracy scrambled to find emergency location details for the beach to help paramedics get there faster.
“Honestly, it’s the most surreal feeling ever . . . like I’m looking down on what’s going on,” Mr Tracy said.
“But I was relieved to see all the people in green (ambulance crews) pulling out all their gear and that was an instant relief. Everything was just right that morning and pulling together to achieve a great result.”
St John Ambulance paramedic Kat Sobczyk and Constable David Hyatt were ready for duty after their second cup of coffee of the day when they received an emergency call just four minutes from the scene. Ms Sobczyk described her arrival at the scene as “absolute chaos” but said Mr Tracey’s perfect CPR had saved Aldred’s life.
They ended up delivering four electric shocks to Aldred on the road in a frantic 14 minutes to revive him before rushing towards the Joondalup Health Campus.
When Ms Sobczyk saw Aldred again on Tuesday, she said “it was great to see you upright and pink instead of blue and lying on the floor” and said his recovery was rare.
She said in WA police officers were involved in cardiac arrests three times a day and only a small percentage survived.
“I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years, and I’ve actually never seen this happen before,” Ms Sobczyk said.
“Unfortunately, I’ve worked a lot where a patient didn’t survive a cardiac arrest. Even if we did manage to get someone to the hospital with a heart rate and blood pressure, they usually wouldn’t be in the hospital without some kind of neurological Out of the hospital with a defect.
“It’s very humbling for us and makes us all proud to wear our uniforms.”
Aldred’s father, Danny, was at the Singapore Grand Prix when his son fainted and he immediately embarked on a harrowing six-hour flight to Perth, not knowing if Ben had survived.
His wife Donna was upset at their home in Bexley Heath, England, after receiving a call from Mr Tracy. She was diagnosed with Covid-19 before her flight to Australia and was placed in isolation as her concerns grew.
She arranged a 55-hour flight through Los Angeles and Sydney before reaching Perth in order to get to her son as quickly as possible.
“We waved him away four days ago, and I felt like my heart was broken, not seeing him for four months,” she said. “Then on Sunday, our whole world fell apart. The situation was so dire that I was just pacing for 24 hours.”
Aldred had just been discharged from the hospital when she arrived, and he actually met her at the airport.
Ms Aldred said: “When I saw him at the airport, I almost fainted, I couldn’t speak, it was very emotional for all of us.”
“I was like a giant hug that lasted five minutes. Every day was still surreal, even if he was as normal as he was. It was a major miracle for us – he would never leave his mum again go anywhere.”
Aldred didn’t know anything about it, only vague details of the previous day. He was in a coma for nearly 72 hours and when he regained consciousness he thought he was still in the UK. He doesn’t even remember being asked to complete a 5-kilometer run on a treadmill as part of a medical stress test five days after the accident.
He was discharged on his father’s birthday, October 11, and after nine days of hospital treatment, he gradually returned to a normal life as his sternum split and his ribs healed. Neither side of his family had a known family history of heart disease.
“If it weren’t for these people (paramedics), I wouldn’t be here, and every time I say it, it’s unbelievable,” Aldred said.
“Honestly, it’s also exciting to have the opportunity to talk to them. I would say get as many people as possible to learn CPR.”
He also expressed his deep gratitude to his uncle, revealing that he bought him a cheeseburger and beer to thank him.
“I will pay off this debt for the rest of my life,” he said. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here.”
Aldred plans to tattoo “WN332” at the beach location as a reminder of his luck – and the permanent defibrillator he has surgically implanted in his left armpit, which will have to be re-paired to the UK network as he returns home. He’s also likely to give up his favorite vodka and Red Bull drinks.
After his final inspection on December 1, Aldred and his family will travel to Adelaide to visit the cricket academy he still hopes to join next year. They will then holiday in Noosa before returning to the UK.
St John Ambulance recovery improvement coordinator David Reid said the rate of heart attack in WA adults was 130 per 100,000. For an athlete like Aldred, it’s only 2 per 100,000.
Athletes in cardiac arrest without early CPR had a survival rate of only 23 percent. “The fact that Ben stood up and walked alive today is absolutely stunning,” he said, urging people to train in CPR and first aid.