Welsh Assembly member describes cardiac arrest in Cardiff park

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Alun DaviesImage source, Labour Party
Image caption,
Alun Davies thanked the NHS for saving "an overweight middle-aged man with a vision of himself as a championship middle-distance runner"

A Welsh Assembly member has thanked NHS staff for saving his life after collapsing with a cardiac arrest.

Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies began a blog post saying "it's not about politics but to be brutally accurate it's about my death".

He described how a decision to run in a busy city park saved his life.

The 56-year-old praised health service staff for treating him while trying to cope with the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We all talk about the NHS and it may well have its faults, but at a time when it is dealing with the biggest health crisis in our lifetimes it can also save the life of an overweight middle-aged man with a vision of himself as a championship middle-distance runner," he said.

Mr Davies, who has been the Labour AM for Blaenau Gwent since 2011, wrote about how he enjoys running both in Bute Park, Cardiff and in the hills around Trefil, near Tredegar.

He described how he had planned to travel to his constituency before running on Friday but instead opted for a jog in the capital.

"That unthinking decision saved my life," he said.

Mr Davies said he had little memory of what came next and still does not remember stopping to speak to friends before collapsing.

Image source, Geograph/ Colin Park
Image caption,
Mr Davies collapsed while running in Bute Park in Cardiff

"It turns out that I had suffered a cardiac arrest.

"At that moment my heart had simply stopped beating. It had ceased to function," he said in the blog.

"The most reliable pump that nature has ever constructed simply stopped working.

"There was no notice. No pain. I had no indication either during the day or previous days that there was anything wrong. I felt fine.

"I actually thought that it was a pretty good run. No record-breaker but not overly difficult either."

'Health crisis'

The friends he had bumped into were able to call 999, administer CPR and found a defibrillator that paramedics then used to "restart my heart", Mr Davies wrote.

The former housing and local government minister wrote that he still had "no real memory" of Friday night or Saturday but has now been able to write the blog from his hospital bed.