Cardiac arrest survivor gives back on Restart a Heart Day

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017 was not meant to be a life-changing day for Roger Baines.  

In fact, it started out quite normally. 51-year-old father of two Roger went to work at the University of East Anglia where he has been a French language and Applied Translation Studies academic since 1996. After working in the morning, Dr Baines headed down to the UEA Sportspark to play in a weekly 5-a-side indoor football game during which, suddenly, everything went dark.  

Halfway through the game, Roger felt dizzy. From that moment, he does not remember anything until he heard the paramedics telling him he had had a fall. 

Roger had suffered a very unexpected cardiac arrest while playing football. Fortunately for him, the quick thinking of his team-mates, and the rapid response of the UEA Sportspark team saved his life. 999 was called and seven trained Sportspark staff worked together to perform life-saving CPR and use the Sportspark’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Before the arrival of the Emergency Services, a single shock from the AED was delivered to Roger by the Sportspark team: Chris Lynch, Tom Dart, Luke Coping, James Warren, Matthew Critchfield, Anna Linsmith, and Iain Kermode. 

Roger was taken to the local Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where the dedicated teams stabilised and diagnosed him, eventually implanting an ICD device to help prevent a further cardiac arrest. In diagnosis, Roger learned that, unbeknown to him, he had experienced a ‘silent heart attack’, probably 11 years earlier, an attack which had left him with an arrhythmia and at risk of the cardiac arrest he went on to suffer on the football pitch. Roger spent two weeks in the cardiac unit and has now made a full recovery.  

There is no question that Roger is alive today because of the administering of CPR and the AED shock. Had there been no one nearby with CPR training and no AED to utilise, this story would have had a very different ending. It’s a chilling thought for Roger, and he’s now determined to raise awareness of the value of life-saving CPR training and accessible AEDs in public places to make sure everyone has the best chance for survival. 

  • When someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 7-10% (1)  
  • The chance of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest can be increased two-to-threefold by the immediate provision of bystander CPR. (2) 
  • There are around 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK per year. (3)   
  • AEDs are known to drastically boost survival rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, like Roger’s. Defibrillation within 3–5 min can produce survival rates as high as 50%–70%. (4)   

 Roger owes his life to the many incredible people who came together to save his life, and is keen to emphasise that all the treatment he received at every stage was outstanding. It’s important to him to thank those who didn’t hesitate to take action to save his life. 

To further promote lifesaving training, Roger hosted an event, appropriately at the University of East Anglia Sportspark, on Restart A Heart Day, Monday 16 October, 2017. On this day, the Resuscitation Council (UK), the British Heart Foundation, the British Red Cross and St. John Ambulance joined forces with all of the ambulance services across the United Kingdom to educate as many young people as possible in life-saving training. 

For information on Restart a Heart day please visit  


(1) Holmberg M, Holmberg S, Herlitz J. Incidence, duration and survival of ventricular fibrillation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in Sweden. Resuscitation 2000; 44:7-17.   

Larsen MP, Eisenberg MS, Cummins RO et al. Predicting survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a graphic model. Ann Emerg Med 1993; 22:1652-8. 

(2) Ambulance Service Association. National Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Project 2006. 

(3] Resuscitation to Recovery,

(4) ↵ Valenzuela TD, 2. Roe DJ, 3. Nichol G, et al : Outcomes of Rapid Defibrillation by Security Officers after Cardiac Arrest in Casinos. N Engl J Med 2000;343:1206–9. doi:10.1056/NEJM200010263431701  CrossRefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar 

↵ 1. Blom MT, 2. Beesems SG, 3. Homma PC, et al :  Improved survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and use of automated external defibrillators. Circulation 2014;130:1868–75. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010905   Abstract/FREE Full TextGoogle Scholar 

↵ 1. Ringh M, 2. Rosenqvist M, 3. Hollenberg J, et al : Mobile-phone dispatch of laypersons for CPR in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med 2015;372:2316–25. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1406038  CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar 

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