Cole Taylor, aged seven, collapsed whilst playing in a paddling pool at Amble Links Holiday Park in Northumberland around 5:00pm on Sunday 19th July.
His eight year old brother, Mason, dragged Cole out of the pool and raised the alarm to parents Wayne and Roisin. Wayne, a former junior football coach with Blyth Rangers, immediately recognised the seriousness of the incident and immediately began performing CPR on his son whilst friend Helen Smith contacted the emergency services.
After two minutes Cole showed signs of recovery by regaining his breath and vomiting water and blood, the blood caused by the reaction of the water in his lungs. The first aid team at the holiday park arrived on the scene within 20 minutes and both a paramedic car and ambulance arrived 20 minutes after.
Cole was rushed to the newly opened Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington who placed him into intensive care whilst also in contact with the RVI in Newcastle who later sent a specialist team to transfer Cole to their facilities. Thankfully Cole was taken out of intensive care the following day.
Doctors have since carried out tests and have discovered that Cole has Long QT syndrome, a rare hereditary heart condition which affects around 1 in 2,000 individuals.
Further test have revealed mum Roisin also has the condition. Long QT syndrome came to the publics attention in 2012 when footballer Fabrica Muamba collapsed from the same condition whilst playing for Bolton Wanderers. Fabrice was technically dead for 78 minutes but thankfully due to the prompt medical attention he received recovered and is now an ambassador for a national charity.
Cole must now take mediacation for the rest of his life to help manage the situation and both he and his mum will meet with cardiologists on a regular basis for the forseeable future.
Cole, a goalkeeper for Cramlington Juniors, has been advised he can continue with sports at this time but as doctors believe that as water was the trigger for the attack that swimming has been ruled out and mum Roisin said “such is the risk we have to supervise Cole in the bath”.
Roisin emailed The Stephen Carey Fund looking for advice on which defibrillator to purchase and where to get one and initially our response was to provide a device at cost price. When Roisin contacted Trustee David Wilson to discuss the offer in more detail she relayed the full story and David commented “I was driving home from work when I got the call and by the time I had pulled onto the drive I had goosebumps, I knew we could do more for the family”. Within half an hour and a telephone conversations with some of his fellow trustees a call to Roisin was made advising that the charity did not want any monies from the family and would be donating a defibrillator within 24 hours.
On the evening of Thursday 6th August Dougie McEwan and David Wilson met with the family at Amble Links Holiday Park to hand over the defibrillator and provide training to the family on how to use the device with David stating “Meeting the family was a fantastic experience and it will be some time before young Cole realises how lucky he is to be here, our hope is that the family never have to use that defibrillator but at least they have the peace of mind in having one available”.
Vice-Chairman, Dougie McEwan, said “Cole is incredibly lucky to be here, the chance of surviving cardiac arrest out of hospital is around 5% and although the onsite first aid team and paramedics all got here as quick as was possible it is unlikely that without Waynes intervention that Cole would be sitting here today to receive this defibrillator”.
The Taylors’ friend Helen, who made the 999 call, had begun fundraising to buy a defibrillator for the family and reluctantly but gratefully we have accepted a shared donation which will be split between ourselves and the RVI in Newcastle.
The charity understand that Amble Links Holiday Park have a defibrillator, located within their medical room, and are now in talks with the management team to discuss if this can be combined with one of the outdoor cabinets to make it accessible to the site occupants 24/7.