By Malcolm Robinson
Following my absolutely unheralded, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in April 2017 I felt compelled to do my best to improve other people’s chances of survival – after all they couldn’t all expect to be so incredibly fortunate as I was. See Malcolm’s Story
My first involvement was in getting 34 friends to attend a ‘Heart Start’ course sponsored by the British Heart Foundation at my local hospital, Good Hope, Sutton Coldfield, on 9th August 2017. It just happened to be my bad luck that it took place on the day I was allowed home, five days after heart bypass surgery. However, I foolishly went along but was promptly sent packing by the medical staff attending, due to the risk of my catching something nasty from the germ laden audience. Or, it might have been because my anaemic, zombie-like, appearance was somewhat of a distraction!
But I digress. One of those present was my Tai Chi teacher, Steve Jones, who was mightily surprised to see the the course tutor was also one of his students, Mike Bennett who, it turned out, is the Lead Resuscitation Officer for Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Knowing of my interest in promoting awareness of CPR, coupled with not knowing where to go next, Steve put me in touch with Mike (we’d never met as we attended different Tai Chi classes) and the link was forged. Mike then very kindly offered his services free of charge in presenting as many courses as I could organise.
The first independent course we organised was attended mainly by fellow Tai Chi students, recruited by the efforts of Steve. Several fellow students also helped in the running of the course and two of them have continued to do so. Without ever being cajoled into it Barbara and Dawn Caine (who were also at that first course) have been ever-present since, hence our team of four at CPR Counts.
As it became clear that we had a success story on our hands with CPR Counts we figured we had better try going for a more ‘corporate’ image, ie. polo shirts with logos. But what logo? Steve’s Tai Chi school already had one and it wasn’t that big a decision to use this as the basis for ours – hence the incorporation of the yin-yang symbol that you can see in there.
We can’t ever dismiss the vital role that Steve Jones played in our start-up nor have nothing but gratitude for his excellent Tai Chi teaching. It was therefore very pleasing to see the positive results of the effectiveness of Tai Chi, over only a short period, demonstrated on the BBC recently. Click on this link to see the trial shown on ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor’:
We at CPR Counts are obviously fans of Tai Chi and if you would like to know more about this vast and fascinating system please visit Steve’s web-site for more information. Better still get along to your local school and try it for yourself.