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Half marathon competitor returns to claim his medal

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 03, 2014

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A RUNNER who collapsed from cardiac arrest at the town’s half marathon, just metres from the finish line, has been re-united with the people who helped save his life – and completed the final leg of the run.

Michael Andrews, 51, from Newbold in Chesterfield had been taking part in the Ashbourne Half Marathon last September when he suffered a cardiac arrest at Madge’s Corner.

Nick Broad and Steve Toons, two members of Ashbourne’s running club who were marshalling on the day raised the alarm.

Off-duty fireman Dave Pitt, who was in the crowd watching the race, immediately started CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation)and Paul Grounds ensured there was an open airway.

Shortly afterwards St John Ambulance volunteers Joshua Feddon, Sarah King and Phil Lemon, who were providing first aid cover at the event, arrived in their ambulance.

Joshua and Sarah applied the automated external defibrillator (AED) and delivered a shock to Mr Andrews, which successfully restored his heart’s normal rhythm.

The East Midlands Ambulance Service arrived and Mr Andrews was taken to hospital.

After making a recovery and getting back to full health, Mr Andrews wanted to come back to complete the last 700m of the half marathon, and also to meet the people that helped save his life.

Mr Andrews was accompanied on the final lap by Howard Winbow, chairman of Ashbourne running club, and was presented with his medal at the finishing line by Gordon Hart, president of the half marathon organisers, The Lions.

Mr Andrews said: “It’s so good to be back and to finish the race.

“I’m really grateful to everyone who got involved.

“If they hadn’t been there then I wouldn’t be here, it’s as simple as that.”

Phil Lemon, Unit Manager from St John Ambulance in Ashbourne, said: “It was a real team effort and thankfully Michael was alert and talking when he left in the ambulance.

“Working together with Dave, Paul and other bystanders, our St John Ambulance first aid team were pleased to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved on that day.”

Councillor Ann Smith, who has been spearheading a campaign to raise awareness of CPR and fund-raising to provide public access defibrillators around the town said: “This is why I am such a strong supporter of having defibrillators, and it’s great that Ashbourne will soon have five machines.

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