Teenager who had cardiac arrest while out seeing a movie with friends in the Sydney CBD thanks the paramedics who saved his life

A young man who suffered cardiac arrest near public transport in the peak of Sydney CBD rush hour has reunited with the paramedics who saved his life.

Zufi Abdul, 17, had been to lunch and a movie with friends when he passed out and then thought he had been kidnapped when he woke to find himself in the back of an ambulance.

The teenager has privately thanked the three paramedics every night before bed but had the chance to thank them in person on Sunday.

‘Finally meeting these guys today and just saying thank you – even though knowing the word thank you is just so short for me and for them – it meant the whole world,’ Mr Abdul told 10 News.

The then-16-year-old had been on the day out last year when he collapsed and suffered sudden cardiac arrest – something rare for teenagers.

Zufi Abdul (pictured) suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of Sydney CBD in January

This week, Mr Abdul got to thank the paramedics who saved his life (pictured, Mr Abdul and paramedic Jeremy Beck)

This week, Mr Abdul got to thank the paramedics who saved his life (pictured, Mr Abdul and paramedic Jeremy Beck)

A male bystander performed life-saving CPR on Mr Abdul near a CBD tram stop while waiting for the hero paramedics to arrive.

There was probably thousands of people surrounding him in the pouring rain, and we needed to get him into the ambulance so that we could do what we needed to do, so the defibrillator could work,’ paramedic Jeremy Beck said.

‘Being as young as he is and having such a life ahead of him, it’s pretty fantastic to have him reach out to us.’ 

Mr Abdul was clinically dead for about 10 minutes before paramedics revived him with a defibrillator. 

Now, he wants to encourage more people to do CPR courses and first aid training as he works to find the stranger who performed CPR on him.

‘If you’re watching, I’d live to have a cuppa,’ Mr Abdul said.

The Heart Foundation described sudden cardiac arrest in people under 35 as ‘very rare’.

‘The baseline risk in Australia for people under 35 is 1.3 per 100,000 people per year, with 15 per cent occurring either during or immediately after exercise,’ it states.

‘Across all ages, there are 20,000 sudden cardiac arrests in Australia that occur out of hospital every year and sadly, only 10 per cent of people survive.

‘A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and it can occur due to a heart attack or another cause.’

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