St John gives Invercargill man a second chance at life

Brent Ramsay (second from right) with the ambulance officers Sam Mokomoko, Bob Glassey, Katrina Harper, and Heather Findlater, who revived Ramsay after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Photo: Supplied

JUST after 5pm on March 12, Brent Ramsay lay “dead” next to his bed at his Invercargill home.

Moments before, Mr Ramsay had been short of breath, something which wasn’t too unusual for him.

He headed to his bedroom to use his nebuliser to assist his breathing. It was at that point Mr Ramsay (64) felt something wasn’t quite right.

He yelled to his 17-year-old stepson Craig to call for an ambulance.

The ambulance arrived soon after and ambulance officers found Mr Ramsay lying next to his bed not breathing and without a heartbeat. He had suffered a cardiac arrest.

“I was dead when they got there,” Mr Ramsay said.

The ambulance officers dragged him into the hallway and began CPR.

They were able to prompt a faint heartbeat and assisted Mr Ramsay to breathe before taking him to Southland Hospital. They then let the team in the A&E department take over.

Almost a month later, Mr Ramsay is now back home and is thankful to be alive. He puts his “second chance” at life down to those ambulance officers at St John.

As a result he decided to make an unannounced visit to the St John Invercargill headquarters to pass on his thanks.

He was greeted by four of the St John team who had helped revive him.

“I nearly burst into tears when I saw them, it was so emotional. They are absolutely wonderful people.”

Mr Ramsay wanted to tell his story to make sure the public is aware of the impact the St John service has and also encourage people to support the organisation financially.

if he knew what he did now, he would have signed up as a member of St John a long time ago.

St John is a charity organisation and needs to raise $70 million annually to help cover its operating budget.

It costs St John $225,000 for a fully equipped up-to-date ambulance.

St John is currently running its Heart of Gold Annual Appeal, which will include its nationwide street collection tomorrow.

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