Patient ReunionA Gillingham man who collapsed while taking part in a local parkrun has been reunited with the off-duty paramedic who helped to save his life.


Graeme Martin and partner, Lori, were taking part in the Gillingham parkrun at the Great Lines Park in Kent on 23 December 2023, when just a short while into the run, and while separated from Lori, Graeme suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed.


Thankfully, Medway paramedic and fitness fanatic, Chris Treves, was participating in the event with his trusted companion and dog, Clara. A short distance into the race, he came across Graeme lying on the floor, with other runners surrounding him, including two local off-duty nurses. Chris quickly sprang into action and started providing medical assistance.


Chris immediately started cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as nearby runners called 999 and assisted with timing the CPR and alternating with Chris while they waited for ambulance crews to arrive.


In the meantime, the parkrun was halted for privacy and a safer working environment, and the run organisers quickly located the community defibrillator which enabled Chris to administer a shock to Graeme.


Chris continued performing CPR as ambulance colleagues and Operational Team Leader, Lee Edwards, Ambulance Paramedic, Hannah Hall, Newly Qualified Paramedic, Holly De Banke Munday, Emergency Care Support Worker, Graham Durey, and Newly Qualified Paramedic, Molly Barker arrived on scene. Together the team achieved a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) with further investigations confirming that Graeme required airlifting to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.


Since the incident, Graeme has been recovering well and is keen to spread the word that hand to chest time is key to saving lives. Graeme and Lori, were able to attend an event specifically hosted for park run volunteers to help them gain confidence in how to perform CPR effectively.


The event, which was hosted by Chris and local Community First Responder volunteers, Steve Joyce and Jade Clabon, took place at SECAmb’s Make Ready Centre in Medway and saw Graeme and Lori, joined by 24 parkrun volunteers to learn CPR and how to be able to restart a heart.

Chris said: “Clara was having a nervous day, and so we were running slower than usual. At the first half kilometre mark, I noticed a fellow runner on the floor and made my way towards them to see if they needed help. As I neared, he appeared to be having a seizure, so I quickly got onto the ground to check his pulse and breathing. I then confirmed with the other passers-by that Graeme had no pulse and was not breathing.”

Lori, who was transported by police escort to the hospital’s primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) centre in Ashford said: “It was the quickest drive I’ve ever had, but I was pleased to be there for Graeme’s arrival. I am so thankful that Chris was taking part in the race that day, alongside the off-duty nurses, and together, they were able to save his life”

Graeme said: “This was a fantastic initiative organised by Chris, in the hopes that future parkrun volunteers can help to restart a heart with these life-saving skills if needed. I owe Chris and the team a huge thank you for ultimately saving my life, I wouldn’t be here today without them.”

Chris said: “I was thrilled to be hosting the event at our Medway Make Ready Centre, and to have Graeme there fit and well was fantastic to see. It fills me with confidence that our parkrun volunteers are now equipped to perform these lifesaving skills should they need to in the future.”