IT was a reunion of an unusual kind in a Solihull shopping centre this week when a trio of shoppers whose lives were saved there over the past three years met with the staff that helped them.
The men all suffered a cardiac arrest in Touchwood and only quick thinking employees and the centre's Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) saved the lives of the three.
Roy D'Brionne-Edwardes, 70 from Coventry, collapsed in August during a shopping trip to Touchwood with wife Gian.
A quick thinking manager, Linda Jones, from BBs Coffee & Muffins, sprang into action and immediately called 999 and started Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) before three Guest Safety Hosts from the shopping centre arrived with an AED.
Guest Safety Host, Darren Toon, applied the electrode pads of the AED to Roy's chest and followed the audio instructions given out by the device. The AED recognised that he was indeed in cardiac arrest and delivered an electrical impulse that stabilised the rhythm of Roy's heartbeat before ambulance crews arrived to continue vital emergency treatment. Crews then transferred Roy to Solihull Hospital for further assessment and treatment. After almost four weeks in hospital, Roy was discharged home and is continuing to make a good recovery.
Tania Stowe, General Manager at Touchwood Shopping Centre said: "The AEDs, made by Cardiac Sciences, were introduced to Touchwood Shopping Centre in 2006. With the help of funding by the British Heart Foundation and training provided by West Midlands Ambulance Service, 25 of our staff are now able to use the life saving equipment and are trained to carry out effective CPR. We take the safety of our guests very seriously and are incredibly proud that our staff have been able to play a part in saving the lives of the three gentlemen who we're welcoming back to the centre on Monday."
Emma Wilkins, Community Response Manager for the Birmingham and the Black Country Locality of West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Roy is the third person to suffer a cardiac arrest and be successfully defibrillated at Touchwood since the life saving equipment from Cardiac Science was introduced in 2006. This is fantastic news and clearly demonstrates that the quicker someone can commence CPR and defibrillate a patient in cardiac arrest the greater the chance of survival."
Roy was joined by Patrick Fallon from Worcestershire and Ronald Hawkins from Birmingham whose lives were also saved in 2007 and 2006 respectively.