New Basford man: 'My heart stopped for 13 minutes and I survived'
SAMER Bata can't remember anything of the day that he collapsed.
The 31-year-old woke up four days later having suffered a serious cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped for 13 minutes.
He had been job-hunting in the Starbucks cafe in Old Market Square on November 2 , having been made redundant just days earlier.
"All of a sudden I just collapsed and that was it," he said. "I don't remember anything – your brain stops."
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Samer, who lives in New Basford, woke up in hospital four days after being admitted.
"All I could see were tubes going into me. It was scary," he said. "It took a while for them to explain what happened."
Samer is hugely grateful to all the staff and people who have helped him, particularly those at the City Hospital.
He said: "The care was brilliant. I felt at home, almost. They took care of me and knew how severe the issue was."
Samer, who is originally from Jordan and came to England to study for an MA in creative arts at Loughborough, was saved by a senior community protection officer (CPO) called Pete Mills, who was passing by and administered CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation – a first aid technique using chest compressions.
He said: "Pete was giving me CPR – he stopped my brain from going into asphyxiation.
"I was very lucky not to have brain damage. He saved my life. I've got lots of affection for him but also for the staff at the hospital, the specialists ... everybody."
Mr Mills said: "I was on foot patrol in the city centre when a member of the public came up to me and said a man had collapsed. There was a big crowd around Samer. I checked his airways and started CPR. He was completely out of it."
Around ten minutes later, paramedics arrived. Mr Mills said: "They gave him electric shock and I carried on with the compressions.
"Obviously all CPOs are trained in first aid. You just go into an auto-pilot mode.
"It's not until afterwards that everything goes through your mind, and you think 'I hope he survives'."
Samer was put in a medically-induced coma at the City Hospital and had on operation to have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator put into his chest.
Dr Arif Ahsan is a consultant cardiologist at the hospital.
He said: "We put in between 100 and 150 of these in a year and have done for 15 years.
"It is a vital procedure because if they have a cardiac arrest this device will give his heart an electric shock and resuscitate him.
"The only thing to say is that it is a painful thing – but it is lifesaving."
Dr Ahsan made it clear that Pete Mills' actions had saved Samer's life.
"He got good resuscitation in Starbucks – CPR will keep people alive while the ambulance arrives.
"CPR pumps blood around – if no-one had done anything he would have sustained some form of brain damage.
"That's an important message – people should be learning how to do these chest compressions – that's the key thing."