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Ingrid helps set new world record

Ingrid and Andy celebrate setting a new Guinnness World Record
Ingrid and Andy celebrate setting a new Guinnness World Record

An Oakham woman is celebrating after helping to play her part in setting a new Guinness World Record.

Ingrid Gardner, 42, from Hector’s Way, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in October 2016, and used the world record attempt, which was for the largest gathering of cardiac arrest survivors in one place, to help raise awareness of cardiac arrest and encourage more people to think about CPR training.

The event, which was held at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in Basildon on June 9 saw 127 survivors meet up, and organisers are confident that once verified, this will be enough to claim the record.

Ingrid was joined in her record breaking attempt by multiple cardiac arrest survivor Andy Smith, 57, of Barleythorpe.

Ingrid said: “It was a brilliant event. It was a celebration. It could have been a sombre or sad occasion, but it was a really happy time.

“It was a celebration of life in general, and also of being given a second chance. It was very emotional, but such a positive experience.”

Andy agreed and said: “The survival rate for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is just one in 10. All of the people who gathered were the one in 10, and it really made us think about the nine in 10 who didn’t make it. It was a very humbling experience.”

For Ingrid, the occasion was also a poignant time to remember those who assisted her in her hour of need.

She said: “The day was very moving and it made me think about the people who helped all of us survivors present; the people who did CPR, the families who helped us with our recoveries and went through what we went through alongside us. It was just as important for the families to share their experiences with each other on the day as it was for the survivors.

“More than half of the survivors there had never met another survivor, so it was nice for them to know that there were other people who understood what they are going through, and they were not alone.

“We all have a common bond, and I have been thinking about it all week.”

As well as the record attempt, the day featured guest speakers who offered advice, information on how to recover from a cardiac arrest from a psychological perspective and life after cardiac arrest.

Any other survivors wishing to share their experiences should contact Ingrid on 07702 265238.

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