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Dionne's story: the day I saved a man who had 'died'

Ian Kennedy and 17-year-old first aid volunteer Dionne Burns© InfoIan Kennedy remembers nothing at all about the day he suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. Following a cross-country race in January, Iain collapsed and – technically – died.

But someone saved his life that day. And three months later, on 29 April, the recovering patient got a chance to meet his guardian angel: 17-year-old first aid volunteer Dionne Burns.

Iain had just finished a 4km race in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park when he suddenly collapsed. Dionne, who was on first aid duty at the race, recalled: “When I reached Iain, he wasn’t breathing so I quickly set up the defib kit.

Shock treatment

“I gave him the shocks and fortunately he started breathing, but he didn’t regain consciousness immediately. I was just so glad the shocks had got his heart going again. Shortly afterwards, the paramedics arrived and they took over.”

She added: “It was the first time I’d used the defibrillator kit for real and, thanks to my training, I was okay at the time. It was only later that the shock of the incident really hit me.”

After meeting Dionne, Iain said: “I’ve no recollection of the first aiders who saved my life but I’m so grateful they were there to help me. I have nothing but praise for them.”

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