September 13, 2017 8:02 am
Updated: September 13, 2017 3:50 pm

Survivors of cardiac arrest thank Cobourg-area emergency personnel for saving their lives

Survivors of cardiac arrest say thank you to the first responders who assisted in saving their life.


The third annual Survival Day ceremony took place at the Cobourg Lion’s Centre on Tuesday. Survivor Day pays tribute to first responders who were involved in a successful resuscitation of a patient suffering cardiac arrest over the last year in Northumberland County, and it gives an opportunity for those survivors to say thank you.

One of those survivors was Karen Begbie. She suffered cardiac arrest on June 12, 2016 in her car, on her way back from Ottawa.

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“I was talking away and all of a sudden I fell onto my daughter’s lap like I was sleeping they thought but i didn’t respond to her when she called my name and next thing my eyes rolled back to my head and I took my last breath,” Begbie said.

READ MORE: Woman’s survival highlights importance of emergency preparedness 

That’s when paramedic, Kevin Payne came to her rescue.

“We got her on to our stretcher, put the pads on and got a reading we could shock, so we delivered one defibrillation. We were able to get a pulse back right away and got to the hospital as quick as we could,” said Payne.

First responders were awarded a certificate of merit and a pin that looked like a lightning bolt.

“It’s a good reminder that sometimes things work out well cause they don’t always,” said Payne.

READ MORE: CPR instructor goes into cardiac arrest, students save him 

The stories of 14 survivors were shared, four of whom attended the ceremony alongside family and friends. They said they were grateful they could be there.

John Jouwstra had a heart attack on March 19, 2016. His next door neighbour, Scott Newman, who happens to be a Trent Hills firefighter, was honoured for his quick action.

“Just lounging at home around midnight, and I heard the call come across the pager and responded to the address next door, and that was a little closer to home than normal so you know when you hear the address and hear the road name you just respond and after that it becomes just a patient,” Newman said.

WATCH: Cardiac arrest: trying to save more lives

The stories shared brought tears of joy to many. And the survivors wanted to give some advice.

“Don’t ever, ever take life for granted thinking it won’t ever happen to you because I never thought this would ever happen to me,” said Begbie.

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