SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST CASE STUDY: BRETT ORPWOOD
BRETT ORPWOOD – A CHRISTMAS LIKE NO OTHER.
It was the 23rd of December 2017, 2 days before Christmas. Brett Orpwood was a healthy and highly active 39 year old, no stranger to Parkruns.
Brett, his 8 year old son Charlie, and Charlies friend, Josh, set off to the Mullum Mullum Parkrun event in Ringwood, Melbourne.
Brett vaguely recalls getting out of the car, marshalling at the start line. Fiddling with his Bluetooth headphones and running watch to find a GPS signal, Brett does not remember much else.
Brett set off on the undulating course along the Mullum Mullum Creek, when about 1km in he suffered sudden cardiac arrest and fell to the ground.
Thanks for the quick thinking actions of those around him, within minutes the defib was rushed down by the run director, Caz Derby, to help get Brett’s heart started again.
Brett was ‘down’ for around 15 minutes, with the fellow Parkrunners around him doing CPR until the ambulance arrived.
Once Brett was stable, he was rushed to the Box Hill Hospital and placed in an induced coma. He spent Christmas away from home. Without his wife and 2 sons. A very different Christmas to what was planned.
Brett was able to walk out of hospital 12 days later. He left hospital with a Christmas gift he didn’t ask for… a defib of his own, connected to his heart, to help should he ever suffer another cardiac arrest.
After months of recovery, Brett went back to running and has just completed his first half-marathon.
A Christmas that will never be forgotten. A Christmas that could have told a different story, had a defibrillator not being available at the time.