If it weren't for the bravery and quick thinking of Kenneth (Ken) Vickery's family, he most likely wouldn't be here to tell his story.
Ken, his wife Lisa and their daughter Ellyse were spending the night at home in Port Macquarie on Friday, September 10, when Ken started having chest pains.
"I was sitting in the recliner in the lounge room and that's when I started having pains and ended up going into cardiac arrest," he said.
Ellyse realised something was wrong and quickly started performing CPR on her father.
"Both Ellyse and my wife Lisa stepped in to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived," Ken said.
Ellyse is currently studying to be a nurse at TAFE and had just renewed her first aid certificate the week prior.
She said that in the moment her instincts took over and she did what she had to do to save her dad's life.
"There was a lot of adrenaline involved and I just pushed through that and made sure I kept giving him CPR," Ellyse said.
Paramedics James O'Brien, Courtney Mason and Ben Monaghan arrived on scene within seven minutes of receiving the call and took over CPR from Ellyse.
"She was already performing very effective CPR on Ken and it made all the difference in this situation," Mr O'Brien said.
"We were then able to defibrillate the patient and give him three shocks."
Ken was unconscious during this time and when he came to, he had no idea what had just happened.
"The first thing he said to us was that he didn't feel too good and asked us why we were all there," Mr O'Brien said.
"I remember wondering why my chest was so sore," Ken added.
The 60-year-old was then transferred to Port Macquarie Base Hospital before being flown to Newcastle where he remained for three weeks.
During that time, Ken's family weren't able to visit him due to COVID restrictions.
"That was difficult, I missed some birthdays while I was in hospital in Newcastle," he said.
Ken has made a full recovery and is now back home in Port Macquarie.
Mr O'Brien is adamant that if Ellyse and Lisa hadn't acted when they did, Ken wouldn't be here today.
"Knowing what to do in a situation like that can make all the difference," he said.
"Learning CPR and doing first aid courses really can save someone's life."
Ken said he is very grateful for his family and the paramedics who helped save his life.
"I've had a pacemaker for 27 years and the doctors still aren't too sure what happened, but I'm very grateful to be here and for my family and the paramedics who got me through it," he said.
"You never know who is going to have a heart attack and it could be someone you care about. If given the chance, I encourage everyone to do a CPR and first aid course because it could save someone's life."
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