Derbyshire man suffered heart attack on football pitch aged 28

Nick Forsyth.
Nick Forsyth.

A Derbyshire man who collapsed from a heart attack aged just 28 has hailed the importance of CPR.

Project manager Nick Forsyth has spoken about his amazing story ahead of Restart A Heart Day.

Nick had always been sporty –playing hockey and enjoying games of five-a-side football with his work colleagues.

But it was on a football pitch where he developed chest pains and collapsed during a weekly five-a-side match in January this year.

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He has no recollection of what happened after that.

“One of the people I work with is a trained first aider and I’m told that they started doing CPR on me,” he said.

“There was also a defibrillator at the leisure centre which was used on me.”

Both a land ambulance and Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance attended DW Sports in Derby in response to the 999 call.

Nick had suffered a heart attack which led to a cardiac arrest. He subsequently found out that, unbeknown to him, he had an obstruction in his left anterior artery causing a clot to form which stopped the blood flow to his heart.

Air ambulance teams had to stabilise Nick as his heart had been re-started. He was still critically unwell and they needed to support his vital systems and get him to a hospital with a specialist cardiology department to fix the obstruction in the blood flow around his heart.

He was anesthetised and put onto a ventilator, enabling the doctor to optimise his blood pressure and oxygenation and help with the stress on his heart and brain function. The air ambulance doctor accompanied Nick on the land ambulance to Royal Derby Hospital where he was fitted with a stent. After just over a week he was well enough to go home.

It was another fortnight before Nick could return to his job and he is now on a cardiac rehabilitation programme. He hopes to get back to playing sport again as soon as possible.

He said: “Obviously I have no recollection of being treated by the air ambulance doctor but I am incredibly grateful to all the crew on the helicopter for attending. The quality of care I received from everyone involved in my rescue and recovery was incredible.

“I hope my story inspires anybody who doesn’t know how to do CPR to find out. I am living proof that lives can be saved by CPR and defibrillators – and everybody should know how to use both,” he added.