Welwyn Garden City man joins other cardiac arrest survivors in world record attempt
A Welwyn Garden City dad and more than 100 other cardiac arrest survivors gathered together in their attempt to break a Guinness World Record.
Dean Botham, 33, and 126 others shared their stories of the potentially fatal condition at the event, which aimed to gather over 50 sufferers together and raise awareness.
The day (June 9) was organised by Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK, Basildon Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (ECC) and Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome UK (Sads UK).
The three groups are still waiting to hear back from Guinness World Record on whether the record was broken.
For the attempt to be valid there needed to be 50 or more confirmed cardiac arrest survivors, each person proved this with official medical documents.
Dean and his partner Kim Botham, 35, and their five children were driving back home after going for suit fittings for their wedding when Dean suffered a cardiac arrest at the wheel of the family’s minibus on July 23, 2016.
It began as Dean turned the corner into the family’s street, Broadwater Crescent, and he crashed into a neighbour’s car, which was parked on a drive.
A number of neighbours ran out to help the family, who were uninjured, and performed CPR on Dean for 20 minutes before emergency services arrived.
Speaking of the world record attempt, Dean said: “It was an incredible day.
“It was humbling being surrounded by so many people that were grateful to be alive.
“All the survivors are a welcoming bunch and their message is the same.
“It’s about bringing awareness to sudden cardiac arrest, recognising and acting fast.
“The meeting proved that no matter their age, fitness of general health, anybody can suffer from cardiac arrest.”
The youngest member at the meeting at Essex Cardiothoracic Centre, which is part of the Basildon Hospital campus, was just 11 years old and the oldest was 80.
Dean expressed how it was important to know that suffering from the condition was not the same as a heart attack.
He said: “A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.
“The person will suddenly lose consciousness and stop breathing, or stop breathing normally.”
At the event there was also educational sessions and an after party.