A man who survived a cardiac arrest after collapsing during a bike ride has inspired his workplace to raise £25,000 for research into heart and circulatory diseases.
Steven Clark’s employers, PDM Buildbase Scotland, have set themselves the ambitious target in support of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) following Mr Clark’s terrifying experience exactly a year ago this month.
The firm’s fundraising efforts also coincide with the charity’s 60th anniversary this year.
On August 1, 2020, keen cyclist Mr Clark suffered a heart attack then went into cardiac arrest during a bike ride between his home in Kincardine, Fife, and Pitlochry in Perthshire.
Two passers-by found him unconscious, dialled 999 and performed CPR for 29 minutes before he was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee by air ambulance.
While in hospital, doctors fitted Mr Clark with a stent to reopen a blockage in the left main artery of his heart.
The 59-year-old has since made a good recovery. He has returned to work and has even managed to get back out on his bike.
Mr Clark said: “I don’t remember before or after I collapsed, it’s strange.
“When I woke up and was told what happened, I was in total shock.
“I am so grateful to the people who stopped to give me CPR until the paramedics arrived and to all the medical teams who looked after me.
“I know how lucky I am to still be here – and it’s all down to them.”
There are around 3200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Scotland every year.
Latest figures show that just one in ten people survive and every minute without CPR and defibrillation decreases a person’s chances of survival by up to 10%.
However, the BHF says that in countries where CPR is widely taught and public access defibrillators are more readily available, survival rates are much higher.
In Scotland, every pupil will now learn CPR before they leave secondary school as part of BHF Scotland’s successful Nation of Lifesavers Campaign.
Mr Clark and his work colleagues have now set themselves a series of fundraising challenges to hit their target by the end of 2021.
PDM Buildbase have also joined forces with BHF Scotland to ensure all staff learn life-saving CPR.
Eddie Hernon, managing director of PDM Buildbase Scotland, said: “BHF is a charity that is close to me, our staff and their families.
“We are proud to be involved in raising awareness of this fantastic charity.
“Our staff are committed to various fundraising events throughout the year and having some fun along the way with their colleagues and customers.”
James Jopling, head of BHF Scotland, said the charity is grateful for Mr Clark and PDM Buildbase Scotland’s support.
He added: “Since the BHF was established, our research and campaigning have contributed to the annual number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases in this country falling by half.
“This is something we can be extremely proud of. But with the public’s help, we want to do more.
“Despite progress, heart and circulatory diseases cause around three in ten deaths in Scotland.
“Our research in Scotland and across the UK is only made possible thanks to wonderful supporters like Steven and PDM Buildbase Scotland and we need the public’s support now more than ever.”
To find out more about CPR, click here.
To find out more about getting your company involved with the BHF, click here.