Last month truckie Nathan Rudd made a 185km trek to meet four people he had never met before - at least not knowingly – to tell each of them two simple words: thank you.
Nathan, of Medowie (located in the Hunter Region), was determined to meet the four paramedics who helped save his life after he went into cardiac arrest while loading a truck in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt almost 10 months ago.
Just as keen to meet Nathan were the four Haberfield Superstation paramedics who attended to him.
Nathan, joined by his partner Julie, presented cards and cake to the four paramedics - Anne Lennard, Momoko Kobayashi, Max
O'Brien and Blake Van Breugel – as gratitude for their dedication to keeping Nathan alive.
To say that Nathan was in a bad way when the paramedics arrived on-scene is an understatement.
Nathan – who can’t recall anything that occurred on the day – went into cardiac arrest for close to 25 minutes.
Part of his treatment during that time required the use of a LUCAS mechanical CPR device.
“I don’t remember much of the day,” he said.
“I just remember waking up in hospital after eight days in a coma.
“I just want to say, ‘thanks for bringing me back’. It is good to be able to thank everybody who did save my life.
“I’ve come back for another birthday and hopefully I can stick around for a little longer.”
Intensive Care Paramedic Max O’Brien said a number of factors helped to ensure Nathan’s survival.
This included initial CPR from firefighters who happened to be driving past at the time Nathan went into cardiac arrest, the quick actions of bystanders to call Triple Zero (000), and paramedics arriving in a timely manner.
Max said it was a great experience to reunite with a patient, particularly given it was not often the opportunity arose to do that.
“It’s really humbling,” he said.
“We all do this fulltime and we’ve been doing it a number of years between us.
“For me it’s the first time (to reunite with a patient). So it’s really satisfying and fulfilling for me, knowing we can play some small part in
someone’s journey and make a difference.”
Anne was also thankful to have the opportunity to meet Nathan 10 months on from when she last saw him.
“Meeting Nathan and Julie was a humbling experience, and as the first out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivor I have had the pleasure of
meeting, it was incredibly special,” she said.
During his meet-and-greet with the paramedics, Nathan got a brief tour of the Haberfield Superstation. He was also shown the LUCAS
mechanical CPR device, which helped save his life.