I’ve wondered whether or not to publish this post for some time. It’s about a subject that’s very important to me – and that’s why I’ve hesitated. Let rip in the comments if you will (free speech an’ all) but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s spuriously about travel – but it is important and it can save lives.
Death isn’t something that most of us like to think about, particularly when we’re young. Sadly, that doesn’t make any difference. Around 500 young people die every year in Britain for no clear reason from an adult form of “cot death.” Cardiac arrhythmias (strange heartbeat patterns) are thought to cause most of these deaths. I’m not here to frighten you because there are things that you can do.
Learn it, learn it, learn it – and then keep on practising and refreshing your skills. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: it’s most likely to be someone you love who collapses in front of you with a cardiac arrest. Scientific studies show that effective CPR doubles that person’s chance of survival. Please, please, please learn how to do it. If you live in the UK, the British Heart Foundation and St John’s Ambulance run courses. I’m happy to be updated about courses elsewhere.
Here’s where it gets more personal.
Long term fans of this blog may remember that I wrote a post about visiting the Peak District based on a HAG (combined Bachelor and Bachelorette party) that I went to for a very close friend of mine.
His name was Leigh Jepson, a wonderfully caring doctor with a searing sense of humour and a great love for the outdoors and travel. He’d cycled across America, climbed Mont Blanc and took disabled children skiing. He also worked umpteen antisocial hours a week in his local Emergency Department and had entered into the Paris Marathon the previous day.
He died without warning on September 21st. Aged 32. Now a group of his (far more unfit) friends plan to run the Paris Marathon in his honour, to raise money for charities that suit both his life and death.
The page relating specifically to Leigh has now closed but please do consider donating to CRY.
Thanks for reading, folks.