Take part in the Gloucester 10k on 26th June 2022

Keen runner, Cheltenham resident, and cardiac arrest survivor, Forrest Wheeler is urging locals to put on their running shoes and register for the Gloucester 10k on 26th June 2022 in Gloucester Park.

Five years ago, Forrest suffered a cardiac arrest and was helped by the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), a charity now close to his heart. He lives to tell the tale and says his love of running was a real motivator in his recovery.

Forrest recently completed his 100th parkrun to mark the five-year anniversary of his cardiac arrest. He said, “The guys (GWAAC crew) should give themselves a pat on the back for getting me to that milestone.”

It was during his first-ever parkrun at Pittville Park in Cheltenham that Forrest suffered a heart attack followed immediately by a cardiac arrest. He can’t remember much about that day; he can only remember pulling on his trainers and starting the run. His next memory is of waking from a coma three days later. But if he hadn’t been in the right place at the right time when he suffered his cardiac arrest, things could have been very different for Forrest. Instead, what followed was an extraordinary chain of circumstances that saved his life:

  • Firstly, running behind him were three NHS professionals who were able to administer good quality CPR immediately after he collapsed
  • Secondly, there was a fire engine parked nearby with a defibrillator on board. Forrest received defibrillation within seven minutes of having the cardiac arrest
  • Thirdly, the GWAAC crew got to Forrest quickly, they were able to stabilise him and get him to hospital fast.

And what’s more, the cardiologist who fitted Forrest’s stents at the Bristol Heart Institute, turned out to be the husband of one of the doctors who happened to be running behind Forrest and who tried to help him that day.

Forrest says, “Approximately 83 other people in the UK suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrests on that day in April. Seven of us survived to tell the tale.”

Forrest now heartily advocates the importance of CPR and defibrillation training, as well as the health benefits of running. Events like the Gloucester 10k, not only promote fitness and encourage a healthy lifestyle but there’s a social side and a sense of community too.

The entry fee is £21 and registrations can be made through the GWAAC Gloucester 10k web page. There is no minimum fundraising target but if runners commit to raising £100, they will receive a free GWAAC running vest. Individuals or teams can take part and all runners will set off from Gloucester Park and follow the same route as last year taking in the Cathedral, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester Quays and sections of the canal towpath.

Forrest himself plans to help out on the day at the GWAAC marquee. GWAAC wants to say a huge thank you to Forrest and to organisers Davies and Partners Solicitors and Gloucester Quays Rotary Club for putting on the event. The charity wishes all who participate an enjoyable day.

Categories: Member News

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Great Western Air Ambulance Charity

Claire Harris, PR & Commuications Coordinator, GWAAC

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity has been the primary air ambulance and critical care service for the whole of Gloucestershire since 2007. We have an official partnership with South Western Ambulance Service, who task our team to around 2,000 patients each year, all of whom are thought to be experiencing a life threatening or life changing injury or medical event. Around a quarter of these, 500 people, are in Gloucestershire, with the rest spread across South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset…

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