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Friday, 29 June 2012 10:42
Callum Bryan was in the back of his mum's car during a large thunder and lightning storm in Birmingham when he went into cardiac arrest, stopping his heart for 33 minutes. He has since been diagnosed with a rare congenital condition called Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery (ALCAPA) meaning that his left coronary artery (usually attached to the aorta) branches off from the pulmonary artery. The condition, suffered by 0.5% of the population, causes deoxygenated blood to be pumped into the heart leaving it starved of oxygen. Very often it can cause death in children of one year and under.
After Callum collapsed, his mum Jayne and sister Nicole rushed to his aid and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to keep his heart beating whilst waiting for paramedics to arrive. Despite his heart having stopped for 33 minutes, Callum survived and has now recovered enough to return to school at Greenholm Primary School in Great Barr, Birmingham.
"The doctors say it’s unusual to find it in a child of Callum’s age,” said Jayne, 41. “They said that it was like a ticking time bomb. He’s been told he can’t take part in physical exercise, but he’s so excited and just can’t wait to get back to school."
Not being able to take part in sport will be a disappointment for Callum who is an avid footballer who also enjoys swimming. However, he is also very unfortunate in that he will avoid major heart surgery or worse consequences as, in the majority of cases, ALCAPA is only diagnosed after it has caused a fatal cardiac arrest. For this, Callum has his mum and sister and their quick reactions to thank.
The Bryan family are now aiming to raise £2,000 for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for Callum's school. If someone suffers a cardiac arrest, having an AED nearby can increase the chance of survival from 6% to 74%. 270 children die at school each year due to sudden cardiac arrest which is why defibrillators are such vital pieces of safety equipment. Callum's family are also looking to raise a further £3,000 to fund equipment for Birmingham Children's Hospital where he spent 17 days recovering.
12 young people die every week due to a sudden cardiac arrest in the UK, and 270 die at school each year.
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