‘Thanks to my wife performing CPR on me, I’m here today’

As a fitness fanatic and nutritional expert, Belfast man Steve Bond never thought he would suffer a cardiac arrest.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The former competitive rugby player, golfer and sprinter collapsed at a holiday home in August 2022 and was saved through quick CPR by his wife who gave him a second chance at life.

Steve Bond, 61, who is originally from north Belfast but now lives in Hertfordshire was working at the ISPS Handa European tour golf event at Galgorm and was staying near Kells when he suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

When Steve collapsed his wife of 30 years, Andrea, quickly realised something serious had happened and immediately called 999.

Steve Bond, from north Belfast (pictured with his wife Andrea) had a cardiac arrest but his wife saved his life by performing CPRSteve Bond, from north Belfast (pictured with his wife Andrea) had a cardiac arrest but his wife saved his life by performing CPR
Steve Bond, from north Belfast (pictured with his wife Andrea) had a cardiac arrest but his wife saved his life by performing CPR

She then performed lifesaving CPR for 13 minutes until paramedics arrived and took over.

It was thanks to Andrea performing CPR that Steve is alive today and the couple are supporting British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland’s (BHF NI) Heart Month to urge people to learn the skills to save a life.

Steve’s wife Andrea Bond, who is a nutrition and fitness coach, recalled the events of 15 August 2022.

She said: “It was just a horrifying moment.

Steve Bond urged people across Northern Ireland to learn CPRSteve Bond urged people across Northern Ireland to learn CPR
Steve Bond urged people across Northern Ireland to learn CPR

"My husband, the father of my two children, was changing colour and twitching.

"He also started gasping and I was convinced he was going to die right in front of me.

"I knew I couldn’t let this happen. I had just lost my mum and had watched my father die in front of me as a child so I was determined to do all I could to ensure Steve lived.

“I dialled 999 and was directed to do CPR by the call handler who counted me through the timings as I was originally going too fast.

"This was the first time I had ever done CPR and ended up doing it for almost quarter of an hour before the paramedics arrived.”

After a further half an hour of CPR and defibrillation from the paramedics, Steve was taken to Antrim Area Hospital and into A&E where he was ventilated.

“We didn’t expect him to come out of that hospital alive. We were told not to leave the hospital so I called our sons to come and say goodbye to their father. It was just awful,” said Andrea.

“He was moved to another room and I was convinced that was it, that he was gone.

"Miraculously, Steve had actually made it through and was even taken off the ventilator earlier than planned – we couldn’t believe it.”

Steve said: “I didn’t know how severe my cardiac arrest was until I was seen by a large number of consultants who said to me they had never seen someone survive what I’d been through.

“They believe my heart stopped for around 40 minutes and it was thanks to my wife Andrea’s immediate action of performing CPR that I am here today.”

Steve had an ICD fitted to help protect him from further life-threatening heart rhythms.

Since his cardiac arrest, Steve has made an excellent recovery and continues his professional coaching, working with many competitive sports men and women across different disciplines.

The father of two urged people across Northern Ireland to learn CPR.

He said: “Andrea saved my life by starting CPR so quickly. I would love it if everyone took the time to try out the BHF’s RevivR tool this February and learn CPR so that if the unthinkable happened you would know how to save a loved one.”

Steve’s appeal comes as new figures reveal people from here are most likely to have learnt CPR.

Figures from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have revealed that almost three-quarters of adults here (74 per cent) have learnt CPR and almost all (96 per cent) believe it’s an important skill to learn.

Respondents from Northern Ireland are also the most confident at performing CPR (63%).

The nationally representative survey suggests that there are still around 350,000 adults in Northern Ireland who are yet to learn the skills to save a life. The figures have been revealed as the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has made a UK-wide appeal to learn CPR during Heart Month in February, with the message to help protect the heart of someone you love.

With around 80 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happening in the home, you’re often likely to perform CPR on a loved one.

There are over 1,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in Northern Ireland. Tragically, less than one in ten people survive, a statistic the BHF is determined to improve by giving everyone the opportunity to learn CPR.

Performing quick CPR and defibrillation in the event of a cardiac arrest can be the difference between life and death.

The charity’s free and innovative online training tool RevivR can teach CPR and the correct steps of defibrillator use in just 15 minutes. Quick CPR and defibrillation can more the double the chances of survival.

RevivR teaches you how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions and outlines the correct steps of using a defibrillator, giving anyone the confidence to step in and help to save a life.

Fearghal McKinney, head of the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland, said:

“With our tool RevivR, all you need to learn how to save a life is a spare 15 minutes, a phone and a cushion.

"Give it a try during your next coffee or lunch break – it could help you save a life, a loved one.”