DSAA came to Steve Fox’s aid when he suffered a heart attack…

On Saturday 22nd April 2017, Steve Fox lined up to take part in the ‘Rocket Race (an obstacle course race held just outside Sherborne). With no warning signs, such as chest pains or tingling sensations in his arms, he suffered a heart attack, hit the floor and started fitting.

“As a 51-year-old, I considered myself to be fitter and healthier than my peers, hence my penchant for always racing in a Superman top,” says Steve. “However, on that day I was certainly no superhero. The fact that I am still here to tell this tale is due to no small amount of luck and the remarkable skill and dedication of my first responders. I have virtually no recollection of the events but have pieced this together from what I have been told.

“Fortunately, standing not too far behind me was a cardiac physiologist who began administering CPR. The on-site paramedics then came to my aid and used a defibrillator to shock my heart back into a rhythm. The incident happened just three miles away from where DSAA is based at Henstridge, so they didn’t have far to come.

“While the crew of the air ambulance cannot fly under their own steam, they deserve to be called superheroes. They stabilised me and flew me to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, where I was defibrillated again before having a stent inserted in my coronary artery. I understand that the time from my collapse to landing at Musgrove was little more than an hour: this is a fundamental factor in why I am still here.

“I was discharged from hospital on the following Tuesday and shortly after started cardiac rehabilitation at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. I took part in my next obstacle course race in August and subsequently qualified for both the 2018 European and World Obstacle Course Racing Championships. More important than all that, I was back at RUH in July on the day my granddaughter was born.

“As you can no doubt tell, I am very active, consider myself to be very fit and have a very understanding wife. My granddaughter is beautiful and her smile and laughter lights up any room. I am very much aware that I would not be here to benefit from all these wonderful

people and things in my life without the immediate attention, skill and speed of the crew of DSAA. So, if you are ever asked to contribute to such a worthy cause, please do so as you never know when they might save your life, just like they did mine. I will be forever grateful!”


Steve’s story is another fantastic example of why the ‘Chain of Survival’ is so vital. If it wasn’t for the swift life-saving actions of bystanders and event medical staff who restarted Steve’s heart, we may unfortunately be telling a different story.

Their actions enabled him to be stabilised and delivered safely to hospital where he received ongoing immediate care. Steve received a prehospital emergency anaesthetic, which ensured he got enough oxygen to his brain, in addition to reducing the workload of his heart. It is so lovely to hear that he is doing so well.

If you've been inspired by Steve’s story and would like to help us to continue saving lives, we would be grateful to receive your donation. No matter how big or small, every penny donated really will make a big difference! Thank you.

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