A NEWPORT man who suffered a cardiac arrest at home earlier this year is supporting a campaign to encourage more people to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation - better known as CPR.

Building surveyor Mazhar Farid, 49, moved to Newport from London at the beginning of lockdown to look after his vulnerable parents.

In April, while working from home, he noticed a pain in his chest and started having difficulty breathing.

Considering himself to be fit and healthy, and not a smoker or drinker, it didn’t occur to Mr Farid that he might be having a cardiac arrest.


Mazhar said: “My first thought was that it might be Covid-19, but I didn’t think Covid could come on so quickly.

"I was overheating, finding it hard to breathe and my arms were heavy. After an hour or so the pain in my chest was only getting worse.

"I’d been telling myself not to be a wimp, but I knew something was wrong, so I gave in and called an ambulance.

“When they arrived, the paramedics hooked me up to some monitoring machines.

"I remember telling the paramedics that the level of pain I was in was approaching a ‘10’.

"Then I passed out and later found out that I had had a cardiac arrest."

Save a Life Cymru is encouraging more of us to learn lifesaving CPR with its ‘Touch Someone’s Life’ campaign, which launched on Friday.

Eighty per cent of cardiac arrests happen in the home and can happen to anyone at any age. Save a Life Cymru is encouraging everybody to learn CPR and have the power to save a loved one.

“I was told the paramedics started giving me CPR immediately and shocked me twice with a defibrillator," said Mr Farid.

"A third paramedic was called to continue CPR while I was driven to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

“The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the cardiac rehabilitation ward wondering what on earth had happened.

"I can’t thank them enough for saving my life.”

Mazhar is planning to learn CPR himself as soon as he can, so he would know how to help if he saw someone in trouble.

Len Nokes, emeritus professor and chairman of Save a Life Cymru said: “Each and every one of us has the power to save a life. Performing CPR and using a defibrillator can make the difference between a full recovery and someone not leaving the hospital. Too many of us have either never learned these life-saving skills or don’t have the confidence to use them if we needed to.”

The ‘Touch Someone’s Life’ campaign is laying the foundation for saving lives across Wales by encouraging everybody to take an interest in learning CPR. A new CPR training video can be found on their website.