​Sean Purcell will tell his inspiring story of survival at the Shock around the Clock gala dinner in Melbourne on 9 October to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of bystanders providing lifesaving defibrillation. Sean’s story made media headlines around the world when strangers on a beach came to his aid after a virus caused his heart to stop beating while he was on a morning run in Torquay, Victoria. Sean had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and he collapsed face first into the water.

What happened next was truly remarkable. A group of quick thinking locals formed a team of urban lifesavers to administer lifesaving CPR as well as retrieve a defibrillator from a nearby golf club. They used the AED to shock his heart and keep him alive long enough to ensure that paramedics could stabilise him and air-lift him to hospital. Minutes matter in a cardiac arrest and urban lifesavers act without fear or hesitation to save lives.

Sean’s prognosis was bleak; if he was to survive, doctors thought he was likely to suffer permanent brain damage. But due to the efforts of strangers, Sean did survive and thrived and is here to tell the story about his collapse, a five-day coma, a journey of recovery and his quest to find and thank his rescuers that went global as a different kind of virus.

Sean has been given a second chance and is now committed to sharing his story in order to shed a light on the importance of CPR training and accessibility to public defibrillators. He has partnered with Anne Holland of Defib First to raise the profile of the importance of ordinary people becoming urban lifesavers and restoring life to a victim of cardiac arrest. A national campaign driven by NFP Urban Lifesavers to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and bystander defibrillation will be launched at the Shock around the Clock event.

Sean is also committed to giving back in his role as co-ordinator of Cotton On’s The Unite Project which is putting bottled water to market in order to provide another form of urban lifesaving by providing housing for homeless youth Australia wide.

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