Life After Cardiac Arrest – Survivors’ Tales

Here’s a book worth reading if you’re interested in how sudden cardiac arrests impact on both the victims and those around them. In April 2017 my wife and I both found ourselves, unwittingly, in that situation. See: Malcolm’s Story

“Life After Cardiac Arrest: Writings from Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK” by Paul Swindell

Available from

I chose to read this book, as a survivor of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), mainly just to find out how others described their experiences. I quickly became aware of how similar, in many ways, we all are. But, every one has something in their story peculiar to themself both of which strands made this such a compelling read.
There is, however, another side to every victim’s story. None of us can describe how it feels to be clinically dead but in many cases there is another person, often a loved one, at the scene. It’s important not to dismiss the impact this has on them. They often feel the trauma more than the patient and this book doesn’t neglect that fact.
The UK has a dismal record of survival from OHCA and anything that can help improve this situation has to be applauded. A book of first-hand accounts, which this is, must surely encourage people to learn basic life support techniques (such as CPR) which are the only way we survivors have lived to tell the tale.
This isn’t written by professional authors but is a series of tales from ordinary folk who are very grateful to be alive, or who have witnessed the event and are also truly appreciative of the outcome.
Remember, cardiac arrest can occur to anyone of any age. The more people are aware of this the greater the likelihood that people, such as those featured in this book, will survive to tell their tales.
A truly inspiring read.

Malcolm Robinson