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Survivor Henny ten Broeke: ‘60th anniversary, eighteen months after resuscitation’

20 January 2017

Henny ten Broeke en zijn echtgenote Alie uit het Gelderse Varsseveld vierden op 19 november 2014 hun 60-jarig huwelijksjubileum. Op die dag dacht Ten Broeke nog wel even terug aan een dag ruim anderhalf jaar geleden, toen hij een hartstilstand kreeg en succesvol werd gereanimeerd door plaatsgenoten Emil Leemreize en Gerard Heersink. Het slachtoffer en zijn redder Emil vertellen hun verhaal aan de keukentafel in huis Ten Broeke.

All wrong

HtB: The morning of 5 March 2013, my wife and I went for a bike ride. While cycling, I didn’t feel too good. In the Idink forest near here, I just couldn’t go on. We called our son Karel to come and get us. After lunch I did go to the planned neighbourhood association meeting, but that same day everything went wrong back home. I fell down in the hallway, whereupon my wife called the emergency number.


EL: Around eight-thirty in the evening I got an alert from The CPR Network for a resuscitation. I live right near the ambulance station, and got on my bike almost at the same time the ambulance left. We also arrived at the Ten Broeke family home at almost the exact same moment.


EL: While the ambulance staff administered oxygen to the victim and readied all the equipment, Gerard Heersink and I took over resuscitation from the son, Karel. When the second ambulance arrived, Ten Broeke was given a shock. After resuscitation, this proved to be enough to get his heart going again. He was then quickly transferred to the hospital in Doetichem.


HtB: I regained consciousness in the ambulance. But I had no idea what was going on. A week after the cardiac arrest I went into heart surgery in Nijmegen. I received a triple bypass. I’m doing fine now. I’m able to do everything again, so that’s what I do. We love riding our bikes again. I did suffer slight brain damage. But from the bottom of my heart: this could not have had a better ending. My wife may be more affected by it than I am. When I’m not around, every sound startles her.


EL: This was my third resuscitation and the first successful one. It made an impression. The following day I went past the house. I happened to see Karel there, the son. He told me his father was doing fine. And his mother told me she’d really like it if I came by the following day.


EL: What I noticed about all three resuscitations I was involved in, is the excellent turn-out of first responders when there is an alert in Varsseveld. After this resuscitation, I started making the case to my employer Rabobank to sign up the AEDs present for public use, even when the bank offices are closed. Both Rabobank Graafschap-Zuid and Rabobank Achterhoek-Oost purchased outdoor casings for this purpose.

Corporate social responsibility

EL: I’m calling on all companies with an AED to follow this example. Make your AED available for first response. An outdoor casing makes the defibrillator available even outside of opening hours. First responders can then make use of it 24/7 when Stan The CPR Network send them an alert. This is corporate social responsibility at its finest: you can help save lives.