An engineer who collapsed at work after suffering a heart attack was saved when his friend accidentally fell on him and the impact restarted his heart.Kevin Brockbank, 54, a father of two, keeled over during a coffee break. Martin Amriding, his colleague, panicked and reached out to grab his friend of 35 years but as Mr Brockbank slumped to the floor he was dragged down with him.
Mr Amriding, an engineer who weighs 15 stone (210 pounds), fell on Mr Brockbank’s chest and the impact kick – started his heart. Paramedics who responded to the emergency call took Mr Brockbank to a hospital in Dundee where doctors confirmed Mr Amriding had saved his life.
Mr Amriding, of Preston, Lancs, said:
“I saw Kevin was going to fall off his chair so I tried to catch him, but he pulled me right over the chair. It was only afterwards that the paramedic told me I had saved his life by falling on him. I felt awful when I fell on him because I thought I’d really hurt him – then I found out I’d actually saved his life. I was gobsmacked. I still haven’t really got my head around what happened.”
He added: “It wasn’t exactly a textbook resuscitation but it seemed to do the trick.”
The incident happened at a printing press in Dundee, where both men are service engineers.
Mr Brockbank, who lives in Ayr, said: “I remember feeling unwell and the next thing I knew I was on the floor with Martin on top of me.
“We were in the canteen having a coffee and a chat when I started to feel unwell and suddenly it felt like I had been hit in the chest by a sledgehammer.
“I could feel my eyes rolling back in my head and I slumped down.
“I started to fall over so Martin tried to grab me, but I must have dragged him over the chair with me.
“Afterwards I was told my heart had stopped beating for about a minute and both the paramedic and the surgeon said it was the thud of Martin falling on me that saved my life, in the same way CPR chest compressions would.
“It’s certainly a strange situation to have been in. But if it hadn’t been for Martin falling on me I wouldn’t be here.”
Dr Frank Dunn, a leading cardiologist in Glasgow, said: “It’s quite possible to start someone’s heart with a thump to the chest.
“It appears that the weight of this man has done this. He is very lucky to be alive.”
Mr Brockbank suffered four more cardiac arrests in the ambulance but was revived by paramedics. He was taken to Ninewells Hospital — where he was visited by Mr Amriding every day — and only given a 50 per cent chance of survival.
He had a stent inserted in his heart to unblock the main artery and was discharged 10 days later. Mr Brockbank later suffered two minor strokes and returned to hospital, where he underwent operations to remove blood clots in his legs, heart and kidneys.
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