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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART STOPS

To nominate someone for a Victor Chang Heart of Gold Award click here.

Three weeks before his daughter was born, Colin Winn was dying on the couch in his living room. He was suffering a sudden cardiac arrest and his chance of survival was just 10%[1].  If it wasn’t for the extraordinary actions of his heavily pregnant partner, the 46-year-old wouldn’t be here today to watch his little girl grow up.

 Demonstrating absolute courage in a time of crisis, his hero, Karen Clark, is among more than 30 inspiring Australians, who have been recognised with a Victor Chang Heart of Gold Medal in Sydney today. 

 Holding his now one-year-old daughter, Colin knows he is incredibly lucky to be alive.

 “I get emotional thinking back to that day. Karen’s actions saved my life, and now I get the chance to make many more precious memories with my family,” Mr Winn explained.

 Presented today by the NSW Minister for Health, The Hon. Brad Hazzard, the Victor Chang Heart of Gold Awards honour members of the community who have gone above and beyond to try and save the life of someone suffering a heart attack or cardiac arrest.  

 It comes as alarming statistics reveal almost 70% of cardiac arrests occur in the home, according to an international study, spanning more than a decade and involving more than one million people[2]-[3]

 Mother of three, Trish Napier, almost died in her kitchen - collapsing to the floor and turning blue. By chance, her son was home sick from work that day. Trained in CPR, he immediately recognised the symptoms of a cardiac arrest and tirelessly performed chest compressions for the next 15 minutes – with his mum’s life at stake. 

 “Nothing can prepare you to see your mum in that state. It felt like I was on the phone to Triple Zero (000) forever. But I know if I had to, I would have kept pumping mum’s chest until I collapsed,” Mr Napier revealed.

 This is just one of around 7,000 calls that are placed to NSW Ambulance every year in relation to an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest1.

 Deputy Director, Professor Richard Harvey said the Victor Chang Heart of Gold Awards raise awareness of heart disease and highlight the vital role the community plays in saving someone’s life, particularly in the home.

 “Home is where the heart stops! Each and every one of us needs to learn the symptoms of a heart attack or cardiac arrest and know how to perform effective CPR. If someone you love suffers a heart problem at home, you could be their only hope for survival.   

 “If it wasn’t for the courage, strength and composure displayed by these very worthy award winners, more lives could have been lost,” Professor Harvey added.

These incredible stories are powerful reminders that every second can be a matter of life and death when dealing with a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

[1] Data provided by NSW Ambulance

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29269388 - page 22

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26240262 – page 382

 

NOMINATE A HERO

2018 Victor Chang Heart of Gold Winners 

Suzanne Hunt
Sally Groves
Stacey Quigley
Bruce Tindale
Kimberley Smith
Carina Hage
Theo Mallos
Alexander Peters
Alecia Saladine
Simon Bellette

Mike Ritchie
Maclayne Hart
Scott Clarke
Peter Patterson
Rhienna Lett
Michael Ristuccia
Adam Hart
Matthew Storey
Gregory Marshall
Karen Clark

Warren Rosen
Amy Mathew
Tony Steiner
Lisa Delle Donne
Helena Van Zanden
Damien Parker
Xenia Dolja-Gore
Brad Dives
Jesse Northey-Baldwin
Ben Northey-Baldwin
Ben Napier

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