On Restart a Heart Day, Paul Gould from Ryde is alive and celebrating his 55th birthday.

"I was told it was a bit of a miracle and that I was extremely lucky," says Paul, thanking the Islanders who came to his aid when he went into cardiac arrest, while swimming at Gurnard Pines earlier this year.

"I am incredibly thankful to them."

He said: "I was very fortunate that the lifeguards were trained in CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) because I don’t know what would have happened if I had been at home with nobody to assist me.

"The last thing I remember is a massive pain in my chest and trying to get to the side of the pool to alert the lifeguards.

"The next thing I was waking up in hospital two days later blissfully unaware of everything that had gone on.

"I think it was more the expertise of the ambulance responders and the lifeguards that I am around today."

This week, Paul was reunited with some of those who save his life.

It has prompted a reminder of the importance of CPR - but also how to carrying on lifesaving during the coronavirus pandemic.

Louise Walker, IOW NHS Trust Ambulance Education, Training & Engagement Lead said: “Early CPR undoubtedly helped to save Paul’s life and it is wonderful to see him well and able to continue to enjoy life. This is the outcome that we would want for everyone who sustains a cardiac arrest."

Eighty per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home.

With Covid restrictions, fewer people are getting out and about, which might mean you are called on to help a loved one.

Learning and performing CPR could be the difference between life and death for a family member, a colleague at work, or a stranger in the street, says Louise.

“Don’t be afraid to give CPR, get hands on and do your best before the paramedics arrive as it can save someone’s life,” she said.

Scroll down for what to do if you need to perform CPR...

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

When someone collapses and stops breathing normally:

  • Quickly call 999
  • Perform hands-only CPR
  • Use a defibrillator
  • Hands-only CPR reduces your risk of catching an infection 

In light of COVID-19, the steps you should take when performing CPR have changed but the need to perform CPR has not. 

  1. If someone is collapsed and not breathing normally, do not put your face next to theirs
  2. Call for an ambulance
  3. Use a towel or piece of clothing and lay it over the mouth and nose
  4. Do not do mouth to mouth
  5. Start chest compressions to the tempo of “Stayin’ Alive”
  6. Use a Public Access Defibrillator if available

Find more information HERE.