Father-to-be cheats death

EXPECTANT father Adam Dumesny knows just how lucky he is to be alive today.

EXPECTANT father Adam Dumesny knows just how lucky he is to be alive today.

He bucked odds of less than one per cent by surviving a cardiac arrest aged just 26 and recovering with no lasting damage - something which the experienced paramedics who treated him had never seen before.

And once he regained consciousness he was not only celebrating his miraculous survival but the fact that his wife Charlotte had just found out she was pregnant.

Today he said he was a statistical “one in a million” and praised the people he owes his life to:


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- His father-in-law Guy Coulson who realised just how serious the situation was when he collapsed on the building site where he worked, called the ambulance and began CPR.

- Heroic volunteer first responder Theresa Webster who reached him within minutes, used a defibrillator on him and continued to perform lifesaving CPR.

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- The two paramedics who managed to restart his heart.

- And the hospital staff at Ipswich Hospital and Papworth who nursed him back to health.

Mr Dumesny, of Carr Avenue, Leiston, cannot remember the drama of May 7.

He said: “I can't remember a specific memory it just slowly came back to me.

“They explained what happened every day because I had a memory like a fish and every day I'd ask what happened to me.

“I'm so lucky because I've come out of it with no sign of brain damage. Statistics show I'm one in a million really.

“I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped, without them I wouldn't be alive.”

Today Mr Dumesny, who is originally from Australia and met his wife while she was travelling in the country, is back at work and back playing for his cricket side in Yoxford.

He will not be able to drive for two more months and is now fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which will restart his heart if he suffers another cardiac arrest.

But other than that, and against all the odds, his life is back to normal.

- The wife's view

CHARLOTTE Dumesny was spending a normal day teaching at Leiston High School when she got the most terrifying news of her life - that her husband of two years had suffered a cardiac arrest and could die.

Mrs Dumesny, 28, said: “Adam passed out while my father was in the room. At first dad thought he'd just fainted but he wasn't breathing so my father called the ambulance and did CPR until the first responder arrived.

“She did brilliantly and so did the paramedics. It was on a building site with a sheer drop on one side of where they were so it was quite precarious.

“Before they started his heart it looked like Adam wasn't going to pull through. I was devastated and just completely overwhelmed and worried and heartbroken.

“The fact that they got him to hospital was amazing just in itself. I was told there was a one in ten chance we would get to the hospital. From that one in ten there's only a five per cent chance that people will actually leave the hospital - though they didn't tell me that until Adam was well.”

When Mr Dumesny was in Ipswich Hospital's intensive care department he was put in a medically-induced coma and a state of hypothermia to limit the risk of brain damage.

Two days later he finally opened his eyes and was able to squeeze his wife's hand.

Mrs Dumesny said: “At that stage there was still a good chance there was brain damage but I didn't care. I was just over the moon and I thought I can cope with whatever else happens as long as I've got him.”

Eventually it became clear that Mr Dumesny had managed to avoid damage to his brain, however numerous tests at Papworth Hospital near Cambridge, a specialist heart centre, were unable to uncover the reason behind the attack.

- The paramedics' view

Suffolk paramedics Neil Flowers and Doug Armfield were thrilled to have the chance to meet the man whose life they had helped to save.

When they first received the call they didn't hold out much hope as neither had ever seen someone fully recover from the condition.

Mr Flowers said: “It is a very unusual case because you don't get successful resuscitations very often and you certainly don't get people that young who have cardiac attacks, and it's even rarer for someone to recover with no problems.

“Personally I've never had a case like this in eight years and Doug has been a paramedic for 15 years and hasn't either.

“Because of his appearance when we got there I didn't think we would be successful. But then we got his pulse back which was a major achievement in the first place.

“But still he wouldn't have lived if it wasn't for the community responder - she was a real hero.”

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