BOLTON Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch brought back memories of a near-death experience for this St Annes dad.
Nearly a year ago, keen cyclist Dean Kelly collapsed on the Beaverbrooks charity bike ride when his heart stopped. He technically ‘died’, but was saved by the fast actions of members of the public and the North West Air Ambulance.
Now, after a quadruple bypass, the 51-year-old is fully recovered and on June 10 will take part in the same ride, to raise money for the air ambulance. The dad-of-three says he wants to put something back for the care he received.
“The last thing I remember was getting my bike out of the garage that morning. About 11 miles in, at Salwick, I was apparently flagging and when the lads I was riding with came back to find me, I had collapsed and was being given CPR. I am so grateful to those on the scene, who started that chain of care which made the difference, along with the speed of the air ambulance.
“I was lucky, Heather Jameson was first on scene and Pauline Mills was a CPR instructor – she stopped to help, and two cyclists Joseph Demeqilto and Norfrey Almira, were from the medical profession.
“I was in a coma for nine days and underwent a quadruple bypass. Royal Preston Hospital, the surgeon and Blackpool Victoria Hospital were fantastic.”
Dean is back in work at BAE Systems as an aircraft engineer and on his bike.
Doctors have said his cardiac arrest was caused by furred-up arteries.
He experienced no real warning, other than feeling tired. He was not overweight and was relatively fit. So when he saw a professional footballer go through a similar experience, it brought back memories.
He said: “When the incident happened with Muamba, it did really hit home.
“So many people were kind to me and my family – praying, wishing me well, visiting me. It’s changed my outlook and I certainly am health-conscious with my diet and exercise now. I’ve been given a second chance and there’s no way I am going to waste it.”
To sponsor Dean, log on to justgiving.com/Dean-Kelly.