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Grateful father reunited with off-duty paramedic who saved his life

January 11, 2023 | in News, Patient story

A Carrum Downs man who survived a cardiac arrest last year has thanked the GoodSAM responder and Ambulance Victoria paramedics who saved his life. 

On 25th September, Melita heard a loud crash in the backyard of her home and rushed to discover her husband Brett collapsed on the floor and wasn’t breathing.

Brett, 61, had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Melita immediately called Triple Zero (000) and commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) under the guidance of an ESTA call-taker.

Brett and Melita reuniting with Laura Jane (left) and the paramedics who came to his aid when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

A few streets away, off-duty paramedic Laura-Jane was visiting a friend when she was alerted to the cardiac arrest on her GoodSAM app.

Within minutes, Laura-Jane was able to relieve Melita from performing CPR on her husband. 

Soon after, the first ambulance arrived and after two shocks from a defibrillator (AED), Brett was successfully revived. 

Three months on, Brett and Melita were able to meet the team who saved Brett’s life. 

GoodSAM responder Laura-Jane signed up for the app when she commenced her paramedicine degree in the hope that she might be able to make a difference to someone’s life.

“It’s an incredible feeling and meeting Brett puts it into perspective – what we did together as a team helped keep him alive,” she said.

For Melita, having Laura-Jane arrive to take over compressions – an experience Melita found hugely traumatic – was a welcome relief.

“I didn’t know how much longer I could keep going and she was here within a minute – it was so quick,” Melita said.

“Brett’s with me, and if it wasn’t for her, he might not be.”

Brett is grateful to Laura-Jane for saving his life.

MICA paramedic Ryan said that early intervention was critical in saving a life.

“It could be your neighbour having a cardiac arrest and the app will alert you. Being able to provide that early CPR will make a huge difference.”

Ryan said you don’t need to have a first aid qualification to join GoodSAM.

“If you know CPR, it’s as simple as signing up to save a life.”

Since his cardiac arrest, Brett has made a remarkable recovery and now has an internal defibrillator in his chest. 

After being given a second chance at life, Brett and Melita are moving interstate to be closer to family.

Melita said she will never forget the efforts of those who helped bring her husband back to life.

“I’ve since talked to other people who are trained in CPR and now I always say ‘download the app’.” 

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