In the early hours of July 2, 2019, Steve Dickie's heart went into cardiac arrest as he lay sleeping at his home in Manildra.
Half an hour from Orange and 40 minutes from the hospital, Mr Dickie's chances of surviving until paramedics arrived from the city were slim - every minute into a cardiac arrest, the survival rate plummets.
Nearly 18 months on from that cold winter night, Mr Dickie acknowledges he's one of the few lucky ones as he watches his two daughters - aged seven and two - running around Molong Base Hospital with screams of joy.
If not for his partner Guinevere Missingham's quick application of CPR and a pair of volunteer ambulance officers dashing to the scene in the dead of night, he would have died.
Mr Dickie's survival is being hailed as a prime example why awareness around knowing CPR and heart health is so important.
Friday marks Restart A Heart Day, a push by Australian and New Zealand-based Ambulance services to improve survival rates from cardiac arrests - with currently just one in 10 people surviving heart attacks.
I had no idea we had volunteer first responders in our town. For them to respond that quickly was just amazing.Guinevere Missingham
Ms Missingham said "I thought I'd lost him" when she called triple zero to report her partner's heart attack.
"I didn't know what was going on. I turned on the lights and from then could see he was having a seizure," she said.
"I was grateful to my mum for making me go do a CPR course when I was in high school. I just knew it wasn't right.
"You hear statistics about how people don't recover from heart attacks. I knew I had to try."
Instead of waiting for a crew from Molong, Ms Missingham had local help on the way in the form of volunteers ambulance officers Dave Press and Simone Sutherland.
They're two of 380-odd volunteer ambulance officers across the state and 50 in the Central West - from Sofala to Eugowra - who are often the first on the scene of emergencies and accidents at all hours of the day. All unpaid.
In this instance, they were lifesavers.
"When Dave and Simone walked in the doors, that was amazing. Those 10 minutes were going on forever and I didn't know how long until an ambulance was going to arrive," Ms Missingham said.
"We live half an hour from Orange and 40 minutes from the hospital, I didn't know how long I could keep doing this.
"I had no idea we had volunteer first responders in our town. For them to respond that quickly was just amazing."
The family - Mr Dickie, Ms Missingham and their girls Ripley (seven) and Ettienne (two) were reunited with the volunteer paramedics in Molong ahead of Restart a Heart day.
"I love them, I appreciate them and I wish I knew they existed before this had happened," Ms Missingham said.
She urged everyone to take a course on CPR.
"You can do a course, doesn't cost much, less than a day. For that you might be able to save someone you love, or even a stranger," she said.
Mr Dickie has no memory of the cardiac arrest - or of the week he spent in a coma in hospital in Sydney.
At just 38, fit, healthy and with no pre-existing conditions for heart failure he said the cardiac arrest had blindsided him, but greeting Mr Press and Ms Sutherland with his daughters running around he said he saw the world - and his saviours - in a new light since the incident.
"I'm infinitely thankful," he said.
"There's not even a word which can describe how grateful I am.
"I feel very small. I'm really tiny and they're the big guys. I'm ever grateful and it puts a new light on everything, every single thing."
Twenty years ago, Simone Sutherland sat with her children, waiting for an ambulance to help as her partner had a seizure, wishing there was a way to speed up the medical help on the way.
In the middle of winter last year, Ms Sutherland and fellow volunteer ambulance officer Dave Press was able to fulfil that wish for another family, helping save the life of Steve Dickie as his partner Guinevere Missingham prayed for help while giving CPR.
"When we arrived on the scene we were met with Guin, she was doing CPR on Steve," Ms Sutherland said.
"We commenced CPR and then administered two shocks with the defib and we started Steve's heart, which was the best outcome we could have wished for.
"It's something we never want to have to go to but to be able to assist that family and help get the outcome they have today is probably one of my proudest moments."
He had a pulse, I could feel his breath coming onto my hand. There was a sense of relief in I knew he was going to be semi-okay and he was responding to what we've done.Volunteer ambulance officer Simone Sutherland
Ms Sutherland's pride was exacerbated by Ms Missingham having her two children waiting in the next room as the pair of volunteer ambulance offers tried to bring her husband back to life.
"I myself remember having two young children and waiting for an ambulance to come and the fact I could be there and Dave could be there, they didn't have to worry quite as much," Ms Sutherland said.
"I remember being scared and doing CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive [20 years ago], I don't want anyone to have to go through that. If we can be there in three minutes instead of 20 minutes, that's why we do what we do."
With the words of her trainers echoing in her ear, Ms Sutherland said those trainers deserved as much thanks as she and Mr Press did.
"When you see them standing there today it makes you proud," she said.
She said the moment Mr Dickie's heart restarted on that cold winter's night was "amazing".
"I said 'oh my god Dave, he's breathing'," Ms Sutherland said.
"He had a pulse, I could feel his breath coming onto my hand. There was a sense of relief in I knew he was going to be semi-okay and he was responding to what we've done.
"He was breathing on his own. It was just absolute relief."
Mr Press said having a successful result for Mr Dickie was "phenomenal".
"To actually walk into a house, see someone in that position with a loved one doing CPR on them and to get the back breathing and back to life is the biggest thrill I've ever had in the service," he said.
"Nothing beats this job, it tops everything I've ever done in nine years with the service."
He was lost for words when asked what it meant to see Mr Dickie and his family now, with the call-out in June 2019 his fourth cardiac arrest and the only one to date where the patient's survived.
"To see him over there with his family with his kids running around... nothing can describe the feeling of watching them," Mr Press said.
He said Ms Missingham's efforts to do CPR until they arrived gave them the best chance to bring Mr Dickie back.
"What she did to start the compressions ... the quicker you can do that the better the outcome will be," Mr Press said.
He said the call-out was "daunting" - because he knew the address.
"My daughter babysits for the family," he said.
"That night, at 3am I called her, got her out of bed to come babysit so Guin could go to hospital. In a small community you all pitch in.
"Any job we do where we know people you think, what are we going to? It's knowing sometimes there's nothing you can do for the people you care about."
He urged everyone to learn CPR to be able to give loved ones - or even strangers - the best chance at survival.
For more information, head to https://restartaheart.net/.
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