Bury St Edmunds survivor launches ‘hard and fast’ CPR campaign

Jonathan Jenkyn desperately wants people to learn CPR - photo taken by Peter Jenkyn
Jonathan Jenkyn desperately wants people to learn CPR - photo taken by Peter Jenkyn
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A man who survived a sudden cardiac arrest last year because his wife knew CPR is appealing for others to learn the life-saving technique.

Jonathan Jenkyn spent three days in ICU after his medical emergency on August 23 during which time his friends and family said their goodbyes.

The 39-year-old, who was without oxygen for around 20 minutes, said: “They didn’t give me a good outlook. They said it was highly unlikely I would survive and if I did I would probably be brain damaged.”

His wife, Sacha, thought he was having a nightmare when she woke at 3am but when he stopped breathing she revived him using CPR – something she had learned years earlier and recalled from watching the British Heart Foundation (BHF) ‘Hard and Fast’ video featuring Vinnie Jones and the Bee Gees song Staying Alive.

Jonathan, a father-of-five from Bury St Edmunds, said: “If someone collapses in front of you, you should know what to do. For every minute you’re hesitating, for every minute you’re worrying you’re going to hurt them, you’re reducing their chances of survival.”

He said in the UK only one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest whereas in Norway the figure is as high as one in four. He wants to improve on these statistics and says learning online takes less than two minutes.

To raise awareness, and to raise funds for three organisations that helped him – the BHF and the Ipswich Hospital and Papworth Hospital charities – Jonathan and a friend have organised a Hard and Fast Relay on Sunday (April 3).

The 58-mile run from Cambridge to Ipswich will see more than 50 people run at least one of 10 segments.

If you are interested in taking part, or if you would like to donate, search ‘Hard and Fast Relay’ on Facebook.