A Christchurch electrical worker's life was saved by a workplace defibrillator machine he pushed his bosses to buy.

Following the Canterbury earthquakes, Lloyd Clausen, an employee of Orion New Zealand, suffered a heart attack while working in the restricted-access red zone of inner Christchurch.

His Orion workmates immediately took action. Someone rang for an ambulance, others started CPR and another quickly retrieved Orion’s Laerdal HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED) from inside the Orion building.

Lloyd was lying on the ground, unresponsive and not breathing. A colleague opened the AED and followed the simple instructions. One shock was administered and Lloyd’s heart started beating again, however he was still not breathing.

Workmates continued CPR. After a few tense minutes, Lloyd began taking some laboured breaths.  By the time the ambulance arrived, he had started to regain consciousness.  St John paramedics then took over and a check of Lloyd’s heart showed a good regular beat.

As a St John Ellesmere Area Committee member and a fire-fighter with the Leeston Volunteer Fire Brigade, Lloyd knew the value of AEDs. Not long before he had his heart attack, he’d convinced Orion to purchase a workplace AED, little knowing that he’d soon be the recipient of its benefits.

 “I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me, and thankful that we had the defibrillator right there at work. I probably wouldn’t be here otherwise,” he said.

Shortly after his heart attack, Lloyd underwent a quadruple bypass operation and he’s since made a full recovery. Doctors told him his condition had only a 2% survival rate; without the AED intervention, it’s unlikely that Lloyd would have survived.

Lloyd’s story was covered by 3News.

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