When David Pryde went for his regular bike ride with his 12-year-old son Riley, he didn’t imagine he’d soon be at The Alfred Hospital in a critical condition.
Friday 22 February was like any other day for 35-year-old David, who was riding around Kialla Lakes Park in Shepparton when he experienced sudden chest pain and felt sick.
Despite never experiencing chest pain or being aware of a pre-existing medical condition, David was having a heart attack. And Riley needed to get help.
On David’s orders, Riley rode almost four kilometres home to tell his mum, Jessica.
When they returned by car about 12 minutes later, David was unconscious, pulseless and non-breathing. He was in cardiac arrest.
Luckily for the Pryde family, a bystander saw Jessica and Riley and stopped to help.
Between giving chest compressions, the bystander introduced himself and said he was trained in CPR. Meanwhile, Jessica called Triple Zero (000) and relayed the ESTA call taker’s instructions.
Ambulance Victoria paramedics and CFA members arrived a few minutes later as part of the Emergency Medical Response (EMR) program, with MICA Paramedics Tony Pati and Matthew Collins starting High Performance CPR (HP CPR).
High Performance CPR differs from regular CPR with its focus on resuscitation in a pit crew style system, where paramedics rotate to reduce “hands-off chest time” and minimise interruptions to CPR.
This is a critical factor as research shows that for every five second interruption to CPR, the likelihood of defibrillation success is halved.
Paramedics successfully shocked David’s heart so that it started beating before he was placed in an induced coma and flown by air ambulance helicopter to The Alfred Hospital.
David awoke in the ICU a few days later, where he learned he was one of the first patients in the state to receive HP CPR.
The practice had only been introduced to all paramedics across the state following a comprehensive training program. It went live on Monday 11 February, less than two weeks before David’s cardiac arrest.
Today, David is back at home with his family and continues to make strong recovery.
He credits Riley’s incredible actions, bystander CPR, the ESTA call-taker instructions, EMR, HP CPR, and the air ambulance transport as the many factors that came together to save his life.
David’s story highlights how lives can be saved when the Chain of Survival links together.