A Lurgan man has opened up about his life after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

On August 9, 2021, Ryan Nelson (44) suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on his front porch while returning home with coffee for his wife.

His life was saved by his wife, son, neighbors and emergency services.

NIAS Ambulance paramedics attended the scene, followed by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service team, and a defibrillator was used to shock the father-of-three’s heart.

Ryan, who was a delivery driver for 20 years, was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital and fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD device).

He has now opened up about the aftermath he experienced.

The NI man told The Postedia about the traumatic incident: “My wife didn’t see it, but she looked out and saw me lying there.

“My wife Vivienne started CPR, Corey [Ryan’s son] took over, she went to get help…then he dialed 999.

“Neighbor Michael then came by, he administered the chest pumps… in the future I will only be here because the CPR was done well.

“Siobhan, a nurse, lives down the road. She came down. She could discuss further details with the moderator.”

The Nelson family

Ryan explained how fit he has been so far, having worked out and played football and averaged more than 30,000 steps a day with his job.

The Lurgan man added: “It’s a huge shock that this has happened.

“Even though I was told that the electricity in my heart went off. I haven’t been told anything since.’

He also said he is grateful for the help he received and is fighting for better aftercare.

Ryan said: “The first responders, like the ambulance, the hospital, my doctor honestly couldn’t do more for me. My doctor was amazing.

“It’s the aftermath for myself, the aftermath for my family and the aftermath for everyone who provided first aid because of what they went through, their lives will never be the same.

“The Two CPR Heroes” – Ryan’s son Corey and neighbor Michael McLoughlin

“Realistically speaking, I was off for 26 minutes. I know if I had seen it, I wouldn’t be the same.

“Try to get her treatment.

“I’m constantly exhausted, 26 minutes without oxygen, so it’s going to be three or four years before my body tries to get back to what it was.

“That’s because mine was out of hospital cardiac arrest. Because it’s outside the hospital, you’re more likely to die.

“It took me a year to get breathing treatment. Every time I went to class, the man basically told me face to face that it wasn’t good for me because it was for people with heart attacks. .

“It took me about 10 months to get physiotherapy. You will not be able to lift your left arm for the first six to eight weeks after having your appliance in place.

“You get a frozen shoulder and at the end of that time you have no movement in your arm because your arm hasn’t moved.”

He told The Postedia how different his life is now a year and a half after his sudden cardiac arrest.

Ryan added: “There are no words I can say to thank everyone. To the first responders, my family, my brothers, sisters, my mom, even friends I’ve played soccer with, the messages of support and everything that got me through.

“I’m alive now, but my life is completely different.

“Look, my first year after that you sit there and think: ‘Is life going back to normal? It was the fact that there was no aftercare. I just didn’t know where I was going, how I was going to handle it. I came across a group on Facebook [Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK] And it actually saved me.”

Ryan, who has returned from home to a new job, has been to Parliament twice to speak about his experiences with Rapid Response Revival and the Defibrillators All-Party Parliamentary Group.

Another trip is planned with Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK.

Ryan fights and raises awareness for children learning CPR, follow-up care, the importance of knowing defibrillator locations and more.

He said: “I want to try to help other people in the future… because the aftercare just isn’t there.

“I can testify to that first hand…”

Ryan added: “It’s designed to help others move forward…

“The other thing we also fought for there was the insurance policies, the insurance policies are an absolute disgrace… I wasn’t insured [on my policy]…

“They never paid me.

“People have their policies and don’t know what they are insured for…

“People should check their policies to see if they are covered.”

He wants to help others go through what he is going through with their families and everyone involved.

Ryan said: “If you can help one person, the job is done.

“Your life will never be the same after this… Your life will be turned upside down…”

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