In June 2022, Andrew Mace received CPR from a neighbor, 21-year-old Alex Duncan, a med student who luckily remembered her instructions while at Cambridge University, UK.
Andrew, age 44, collapsed while at a neighborhood street party and went into cardiac arrest. A recent article in the Independent reports that the paramedics arrived within fifteen minutes and resuscitated him. He was immediately airlifted to Kings hospital in London where he was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. The defibrillator sends electric shocks to the patient’s heart when it senses an abnormal beat.
Although the odds appeared to be against him, Andrew had survived.
They Were an Average Family Until Fabry Disease
Andrew works in technology and lives with his wife Sophie and three children in Otford, a village in the Seven Oaks district of Kent, England. A fourth child, Lexi, was diagnosed with Fabry disease and died at age 2.
Andrew had been seeing a renal consultant when high protein was discovered in his urine only one month after the death of their two-day-old daughter, Lexi, from sepsis. Andrew was tested at the UCL hospital. The hospital doctors confirmed that his kidney function had deteriorated and that he would need a kidney transplant. The transplant took place on December 15, 2018, which would have been Lexi’s first birthday.
Fabry disease is a genetic condition and Andrew has a significantly aggressive presentation. Therefore, two of their children, Alice and Annabelle, are being closely monitored.
Previous tests had uncovered sinus node damage to Andrew’s heart which caused a seven-second pause while he slept. As a result, Andrew has been wearing a pacemaker since June 2009.
About Fabry Disease
Fabry disease, which is inherited, affects 1 in 40,000 men. It is an enzyme deficiency that prevents the affected person’s body from breaking down a certain type of fat. Instead, the fat is deposited in tissue and in blood vessels.
Over thirty-thousand non-hospital cardiac arrests occur every year in the UK. However, the startling data provided by the British Heart Foundation suggests that fewer than one in ten people survive.
Andrew and his wife are now working with the British Heart Foundation to urge the public to take a quick 15-minute CPR course.
Their loss has brought Andrew and his family’s focus on preparedness and awareness while raising money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital in Lexi’s name and in their family’s name.
Alex, their neighbor, and Andrew are now promoting the British Heart Foundation’s new tool called RevivR which gives instructions to those who are willing to be prepared for these emergencies. The entire procedure takes only fifteen minutes to learn.
Andrew continues to be grateful that Alex saved his life and he has a strong desire to help others. He reminds people that CPR is crucial and saves lives. Alex definitely agrees.