“You take the first aid support for granted, but they really are so important.” First aiders save Prestatyn man’s life at endurance event

When Ian Cummins became critically unwell whilst participating in the Long Course Weekend challenge in Pembrokeshire last year, the quick reaction of those nearby saved his life.

Ian was in the cycling stage of the triathlon when he suddenly collapsed, suffering a cardiac arrest.

Ian had travelled down from his home in Prestatyn with his wife for the event, which took place on the first weekend of July 2023. Ian never expected to find himself in such a frightening situation, but the quick reaction of those around him saved his life that day.

Ian has always been into fitness, regularly competing in endurance challenges and had even completed the Long Course Weekend event a few times in the past.

Ian had completed the swim part of the event on Friday 30th June with no problems at all and woke up the next day feeling prepared for the cycling challenge. As he made his way up a large hill, he began feeling unwell and collapsed, falling on his side.

“It felt like an explosion had gone off in my chest” Ian recalled.

Behind him, two medical professionals who were also taking part in the event came to his attention right away. They identified his condition and began CPR immediately. A St John Ambulance Cymru volunteer paramedic team then promptly arrived on the scene, helping to treat Ian using CPR and a defibrillator.

The prompt CPR, early defibrillation and fast medical attention Ian received played an invaluable role in saving his life.

An air ambulance arrived and transported Ian to Morriston Hospital where he had a stent fitted in his heart. He was discharged the following week and after various cardiac and physiotherapy appointments, he is feeling a whole lot better now.

“I definitely want to take on more physical challenges in the future” Ian says, “but maybe I’ll have a break this year.”

“I’ve been to various events such as this in my life, and I’ve even been involved with organising running events in the past. You take the first aid support for granted, but they really are so important” Ian says.

Ian’s story is the perfect example of why quick action is so vital following a cardiac arrest. St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers support events like this across Wales, providing lifesaving first aid care to people in their time of need.

Find out more about St John Ambulance Cymru’s lifesaving work in the communities of Wales by visiting www.sjacymru.org.uk


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