Sir Ranulph Fiennes owes life to AED

“I had absolutely no indication anything was wrong until I woke up in a hospital bed and was told I’d suffered a heart attack. Before that there had been no obvious signs – I hadn’t experienced any pain and was living my life as normal.”

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is no stranger to entering the unknown and is described by the Guinness Book of Records as the greatest living explorer.

He was one of the first people in the world to walk across the Antarctic unaided in some of the most unforgiving surroundings.

To achieve such an amazing goal takes the ultimate level of fitness, stamina and determination, and when you think of someone like Sir Ranulph; you think of a healthy person ready to take the world on. However, on 7th June 2003, Sir Ranulph‘s life took somewhat of an unexpected course into unknown territory.
Sir Ranulph was boarding a flight to Edinburgh at Bristol Airport when he suffered a massive heart attack, just before the plane took off.

Luckily for Sir Ranulph, the emergency fire services who attended to this incident had an AED, which saved his life. Sir Ranulph went on from here to have double heart-bypass surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Following the incident, Sir Ranulph commented on his escape:
“I was extremely lucky that a mobile defibrillating unit and the expert assistance of the Blue Watch of the Bristol Airport Fire Station were immediately on the scene.”
“I had absolutely no indication anything was wrong until I woke up in a hospital bed and was told I’d suffered a heart attack. Before that there had been no obvious signs – I hadn’t experienced any pain and was living my life as normal.”

AED on board
Are you within 4 minutes of an AED?

Sir Ranulph was one of the lucky ones to survive an SCA, as one of his fellow passengers was a nurse and they managed to get a defibrillator to him within 4 minutes. It would have been a very different picture now had the AED not been available.

Sir Ranulph has since gone on to conquer many more challenges, even running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days for the British Heart Foundation, just 4 months after his operation. Sir Ranulph has pledged to take an AED with him on all his future expeditions as standard and believes that such a small piece of kit should be available in all public places.

After all, he is only alive now because an AED was at the airport.

If you want to improve your chances against SCA you need to know the facts. We’ve put together this e-book with everything you need to know to improve your chance of survival.

Where’s your nearest AED? If it’s more than 4 minutes away, you need to click here.