Sarah Walke was yesterday (Tuesday, 23 September) reunited with the paramedics and lifesavers who helped keep her alive after she suffered a cardiac arrest at home last month and beat the odds to survive.
Ms Walke was in her bedroom on an ordinary August Saturday night when she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed. She lived, paramedics said, thanks to a sequence of life-savers like her husband and the skilled community volunteer paramedic organisation Hatzolah.
NSW Ambulance paramedics Benjamin Gilmour and Nadia Nissen were first on scene, closely followed by three Hatzolah members, Mendy Litzman, Dovi Meyer and Jeff Lewis.
When they arrived, Ms Walke’s husband Donovan was providing CPR to his wife, his phone on the floor on speaker and Ambulance Triple Zero (000) call taker Kailee Moss giving him instructions.
“Sarah’s case is a perfect example of how communities can work to save lives,” Ben Gilmour said.
“In 18 years as a paramedic, I can count on two hands the number of cardiac arrest patients I have treated that I know have survived. In Sarah’s case, it’s clear her husband Donovan deserves every bit of credit he can get.
“Around ten percent of people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, usually because someone on scene knew first aid and provided effective CPR until help arrived.
“The minutes before we arrive are critical – it’s then that CPR literally saves lives. That’s what Donovan did and that’s why we were able to help Sarah live. Today, seeing her healthy and happy is amazing.”