Worthing marathon runner thanks his life savers

Dave's wife Rhoda, Dave, and Julie Beynon with the team of SJA volunteers who helped save his life
Dave's wife Rhoda, Dave, and Julie Beynon with the team of SJA volunteers who helped save his life

A MAN who suffered a cardiac arrest in a half marathon has been reunited with the team of volunteers who saved his life.

Dave Hatton, 55, has thanked the St John Ambulance (SJA) life savers from Worthing who came to his aid when he collapsed during the Steyning Stringer Half Marathon in March. He has now pledged to raise funds for the St John Ambulance building in Worthing.

Keen runner Dave, from Horsham, began feeling ill a short distance into the run.

A qualified mountain leader and Deputy District Commissioner for Horsham Scouts, Dave had recently completed a first aid course and his own life saving knowledge soon told him something was seriously wrong: “I’d learned what symptoms to watch out for when someone is having a heart attack and it really wasn’t long before I realised it was happening to me.”

Dave turned back to the start line, and made his way to the SJA team at the first aid treatment centre.

There he met Worthing first aider and registered nurse, Julie Beynon.

Julie said within three minutes Dave’s condition had deteriorated before he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

“It was really fortunate he’d returned to the start line, as we were able to give extremely early treatment,” said Julie.

Dave added: “I am so grateful for everything the team did for me that day.

“Not only for my treatment, but also the way the volunteers helped my wife and gave her all the reassurance she needed, during what was a very stressful and emotional experience.”

Within around an hour Dave was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton, having had a stent fitted. A few days later he had an internal defibrillator fitted and was discharged from hospital 12 days after his cardiac arrest.

He is now making a recovery and is walking around five miles a day to build up his fitness again.

The team of volunteers who treated Dave included Julie Beynon, John Beynon, Mike Kerley, Graham Underhill, Julie Underhill, Chris Holmes, unit manager Cliff Baddock, Unal Salih, Steven Harwood, and Karen Kennedy.

Dave is fundraising for St John Ambulance and hopes to make a donation to help buy an Automatic External Defibrillator to be installed in the St John Ambulance building in Worthing.