‘I was dead for 12 minutes’: Woman saved by Coles staff

A LAIDLEY mother has told how she was dead for 12 minutes after a sudden heart attack.

Angela Lewis, 40, was working as a Toll team member at the Coles distribution centre in Forest Lake when she collapsed in January this year.

She was then given CPR and shocked several times with a defibrillator by a trained Coles employee until the ambulance arrived.

Angela Lewis – pictured with her six-year-old son Rogan – was ‘dead’ for 12 minutes after a sudden cardiac arrest.
Angela Lewis – pictured with her six-year-old son Rogan – was ‘dead’ for 12 minutes after a sudden cardiac arrest.

"I'm grateful to be alive and that my son still has a mother," Ms Lewis said. "He saw me unconscious at the hospital and it affected him just days before he started school - which I missed."

"Now living with an implantable defibrillator in my chest, I'm lucky to watch my son grow up, and thankful that Coles had a defibrillator on-site."

Coles has taken customer service to a whole new level. The supermarket, teaming up with The Heart Foundation, have already installed defibrillators in some of their supermarkets and distribution centres and will roll out defibrillators to all stores in Australia by July 1.

This means more than 800 locations throughout the country will be fitted out with the machine to combat the shocking figure of cardiovascular disease killing one Australian every 12 minutes.

"All our first aid team members will be trained in the use of the AED, and we have chosen an easy-to-use device that includes audio and visual instructions so that just about anyone can use it in the case of an emergency," said Coles director of safety David Brewster.

St John Ambulance Australia CEO Gordon Botwright said the initiative would have a positive impact on communities.

"If victims receive defibrillation within the first few minutes their chances of survival are significantly strengthened from just five per cent without defibrillation to more than 70 per cent," he said.



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