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Metro Tunnel worker receives the ultimate Christmas gift

December 17, 2021 | in Community News

Dean (centre) is grateful to his colleagues and paramedics for being there when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Metro Tunnel worker Dean Barber will be forever grateful he was at work the day he suffered a cardiac arrest.

The 52-year-old was unloading equipment 16 metres underground in May when he suddenly collapsed.

Thankfully, co-worker Kid Talevski saw Dean on the ground unconscious and swung into action, calling triple zero (000) and starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“I broke five of his ribs and punctured a lung,” Kid said.

“The call taker was amazing. She was counting us through.”

At the same time, another worker, Caleb, accessed a worksite automated external defibrillator (AED).

By the time paramedics arrived, Dean had just received his third shock.

Paramedics and work colleagues recalling the moment they raced against time to save Dean’s life.

The father of three was transported to The Alfred Hospital where he had a stent inserted and spent several weeks recovering.

Now back working full time, Dean was delighted to reunite with some of the paramedics and his colleagues who gave him a second chance at life.

MICA paramedic Travis Quirk said Dean would not be alive if not for Kid and Caleb.

“We wouldn’t be here and talking about this today if they hadn’t done what they did,” Travis said.

“Everything they’d been trained to do they reproduced on the day and that’s why Dean survived.”

Travis said the case highlighted the importance of early CPR and using an AED.  

“When a person in cardiac arrest receives CPR and an AED is used, the chance of survival increases by more than 70 per cent,” Travis said.

“Dean is here today because these guys knew exactly what to do, and we want all Victorians to know that they can save a life too in this situation.”

Dean said he’s incredibly grateful to his new workmates and is looking forward to Christmas with his family.

“I didn’t know either of them before this but it’s very different now,” he said.

“I feel very lucky they were working around me that day.”