A Welbeing employee is raising money for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research by taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Business Development Manager Paul Nelson, 54, is taking on the iconic challenge after administering Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to two strangers in the space of six months last year. There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year and the overall survival rate is less than 1 in 10.
Whilst driving home from an early-morning gym class in April 2017, Paul noticed a man lying on his drive way. The man’s heart wasn’t beating and Paul started giving CPR. Unfortunately, Paul’s efforts weren’t enough and a few days later, Paul was told that David Shrimpton, aged 62, hadn’t survived.
Six months later, whilst on holiday in Croatia, Paul noticed an elderly man floating face up in the sea and after hoisting him out of the water started CPR, however there was nothing more Paul could do. Paul later discovered that the man’s name was Pierre and he was in his 80’s.
Around 400 runners will unite in the fight against heart disease by running the Virgin Money London Marathon and will help the BHF raise close to a million pounds towards pioneering heart research.
Paul explains: “It was a cold morning when I found David lying on his driveway, so between taking turns giving chest compressions, all my wife and I could do was to try and comfort and support David’s family as they faced this nightmare. It felt as though we were giving CPR for an eternity, but it was only minutes before the first ambulance arrived.
“When you’re faced with the ultimate medical emergency, you go into autopilot. I was in quite deep water when I got to Pierre and it was difficult to get him out of the water due to the tide.
“The friends and family of David and Pierre were very grateful for the attempts we made to try to save them, yet I couldn’t help but think that I should have done more. I realise I shouldn’t think that way, but both of those events will remain with me for the rest of my life and to a certain extent I carry a sense of guilt at being unable to help them further and I’m now trying to help others to take action in the ultimate medical emergency.”
Karen McDonnell, Events Manager at the BHF, added: “We are thrilled that Paul has chosen to take on this legendary challenge for the BHF and will be supporting him every step of the way. There are around 7 million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK – by joining the fight, Paul really will be helping us stop heart disease in its tracks.”
To sponsor Paul, visit his JustGiving page