“I’d had my wedding suit fitting that morning and was driving back home with my fiancée, Kim, and our five kids. As I turned into our road I went into cardiac arrest at the wheel.

“The car crashed into someone’s driveway. Luckily no-one was hurt but Dawn, our neighbour, saw it happen and ran to help. We’d never spoken before, but she gave me CPR until the emergency services arrived, including Magpas Air Ambulance.”

The day is still fresh in Dawn’s mind, she recalls, “I remember hearing the crash. I ran over; made sure the children were alright and turned my attention to Dean. I could see he was dying and there were no first aiders around so I stepped in, we got him out of the car and I started performing CPR. I’d had training in the past so had an idea of what to do – it was so different doing it for real but that didn’t matter; I was determined to give it my best. I couldn’t let Dean or his loved ones down.”

The Magpas medical team including Critical Care Paramedic Sally, flew to Dean and because he had received good quality CPR straight away, were able to give him further lifesaving care. They placed him in a medically induced coma at the scene to protect his brain and take over his breathing before taking him to hospital for additional treatment.

Dean continues, “Luckily we didn’t need to change our wedding date and Kim and I were married 6 months later! To make the day even more special Dawn and her husband, now family friends of ours came too. If it wasn’t for her initial help before the professionals could take over, I probably wouldn’t be here, yet alone married, so it seemed only right for Dawn to celebrate with us.”

Kim sums up, “I’m so grateful to Dawn for stepping up and using her skills when time was against us – I was untrained at the time and had no idea what to do. Now, Dean, our children and I are all fully trained in CPR as we know the life-changing difference it can make.

“Thanks to Dawn’s bystander CPR and the hospital level care Magpas Air Ambulance provided, I now have a husband and our children still have a father.”

If you feel inspired by Dean’s story and Dawn’s actions and would like to be like Dawn in the event of witnessing someone suffering a cardiac arrest, you can sign up for our FREE Hearts Matter Community CPR training course, which will give you the skills and confidence to put the heartbeat back into your community.