Photo of paramedics reunited with cardiac arrest survivor
Walter with the off-duty nurses and the Wollongong paramedics who saved him.

Mr Davis was on his regular bike ride along Cliff Road on a Saturday afternoon in January when he suffered a cardiac arrest. At the same time, Campbelltown Emergency Department nurses Samantha Dolbel and Melissa Ingram were returning home after taking their dogs to the beach.

They saw a group of people gathered and stopped to find the 59-year-old on the ground. Miss Ingram directed a boy to run to the nearby Novotel Wollongong Northbeach to see if they had a defibrillator, while she and Miss Dolbel commended CPR.

Novotel staff returned with the defibrillator and together they and the nurses worked on Mr Davis until paramedics arrived. A couple of weeks later, Mr Davis had the opportunity to meet the people who saved his life. He was reunited with the nurses and paramedics at Wollongong Ambulance Station.

“It makes me feel incredibly grateful to be alive, and incredibly lucky,” Mr Davis said.

“Very grateful to the nurses who happened to be there, and the paramedics who responded quickly, and to the Novotel for having their defibrillator there.” He said he had generally been in good health and, as far as he knew, had experienced no major warning signs that his heart was going to stop.

Inspector Norm Rees said everyone involved in helping Mr Davis, who was in a critical condition when paramedics arrived on scene, played an important role. “He was deceased for a period of time and it was only the CPR and defibrillator that brought him back,” he said.

Inspector Rees said he was always grateful for the chance to reunite with a former patient.

“It just makes it all worthwhile and reminds you why you do the job.”