Back at school: Bury St Edmunds teen who ‘died’ for 27 minutes

Craig Bayfield had to be resuscitated by his mother Lynda and nearly died.
Craig Bayfield had to be resuscitated by his mother Lynda and nearly died.
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A 17-year-old boy, who died for 27 minutes after his heart stopped, is now fighting fit thanks to the life saving actions of his mum and brother.

Craig Bayfield has restarted school just months after he suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing in a case of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome while taking a shower at his Bury St Edmunds home in February.

After hearing him collapse, brother Ross and mum Lynda rushed to his rescue and, within minutes, performed CPR while they waited for paramedics, who managed to restart his heart with a defibrillator.

Craig, who remembers nothing about his attack, said: “I was technically dead for 27 minutes.”

His dad John, who called 999, said: “The doctor told us it was those first 10 minutes which saved Craig’s life.”

At West Suffolk Hospital his parents feared he had suffered severe brain damage but CT scans showed no such injury. He only showed signs of response two weeks later but couldn’t speak properly or control his arms or legs.

Craig was transferred to Cambridge where he gradually recovered and had an implantable cardiac defibrillator installed. He was back home after a total seven weeks in hospital and was supported by the Icanho Rehab Centre.

Craig, who returned to King Edward VI School in June and is now repeating Year 12, said: “It was a very slow process but I’m completely back to normal now.”

Mrs Bayfield, 52, said: “At the time it was a real horror and shock. He’s my miracle. Against all the odds not only have I got Craig back but he’s picked up his life again.”

They have since been in touch with the charity SADS UK, which is trying to help set up a defibrillator at King Edward VI.

Mr Bayfield, 56, who thanked the emergency services for their quick response, said: “We’ve been on the steepest roller coaster but at least something good has come out of it.”