Tonbridge man thanks Angel Centre staff who saved his life

Organiser Ingrid Pope [pictured] launched Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale last year after seeing a similar event in the US.

A man who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at the Angel Centre has returned to the Centre to thank staff for saving his life. 

Martin Stoate, 66, from Tonbridge, was using the rowing machine in the gym as part of his regular exercise programme, when he collapsed.

‘I was feeling fine on my way to the gym and about 15 minutes into my session, I went on the rowing machine and apparently collapsed and fell backwards. I remember nothing of this but it was fairly traumatic for my wife, who was also at the gym that morning,’ says the retired telecommunications consultant.

The tmactive staff administered CPR and used AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) several times to bring Martin back to consciousness before the paramedics arrived. Martin was treated for more than an hour before he was stable enough to be taken to hospital.

‘I don’t remember anything until I came round in the Intensive Care Unit at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, just over 24 hours later, when they brought me out of an induced coma and off the ventilator.’

Martin’s sudden cardiac arrest was due to left ventricular failure, causing his heart to go into a severe arrythmia. He remained in hospital for three weeks.

‘I’m very grateful for the speed and professionalism the centre staff delivered to save my life. If they had not had a defibrillator on site and persevered in their efforts to resuscitate me, I would not be here today,’ says Martin.

Two months after the incident, Martin has regained his strength and is able to do most of his previous activities. He has returned to the Angel Centre to start the Cardiac Rehabilitation Course, which is run in conjunction with cardiac nurses. He plans to resume his gym training following the six week course. 

‘I have been in to meet the people involved on that day to thank them personally. In addition to the practical help given to me, I would also like to thank the Angel Centre staff for the care and emotional support they gave to my wife who was quite distressed by what happened,’ he says.

Bradley Watson, Health & Fitness Manager at tmactive, says: ‘It’s amazing to see how far Martin has progressed in such a short space of time. Looking at him today, it’s hard to believe we were fighting to save his life only a couple of months ago. We at tmactive pride ourselves on having a team of Wellness Coaches on the gym floor at all times who are trained to deal with such circumstances. Martin is now joining us for his Cardiac Rehab Programme and we look forward to supporting through his journey to full recovery. I would personally like to wish Martin and his family a long, healthy and happy future.’

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