A JOGGER who suffered a cardiac arrest was saved after Hollywood veteran Dustin Hoffman went to his aid.
Sam Dempster, 27, collapsed during a run in London’s Hyde Park on 27 April.
• Dustin Hoffman waited for 15 minutes with man after witnessing runner suffering cardiac arrest in Hyde Park
• Paramedics said history of jogger’s collapse, given by Hoffman, was ‘essential’
• Hoffman remained at the scene until ambulance crews had rescuscitated man
Hoffman, who has a house in the city, was enjoying a morning walk when he saw Mr Dempster crash to the ground, landing on his face.
When paramedics from the London Ambulance Service arrived, the Rain Man star explained to them what had happened.
The 74-year-old actor – who starred as a keen runner caught up in a mystery involving his brother in 1976 film Marathon Man – waited with the stricken lawyer as he was resuscitated.
When it became clear the patient was stabilised, Hoffman congratulated the ambulance crew members, saying: “Great job, guys.”
Mr Dempster was then rushed to hospital.
Paramedic Martin Macarthur, who saved Mr Dempster with colleague Luke Sullivan, said: “It is essential to get a history of what has happened and he [Dustin Hoffman] … was the main witness.
“He said he saw the patient collapse face-first on the pavement and that he was frothing at the mouth.
“He stayed on the scene for the whole duration of the resuscitation, which was about 15 minutes. He was very concerned.
“We shocked the patient once with the defibrillator and he regained consciousness.
“And at the end Mr Hoffman was kind enough to come up to all the crews and said, ‘Great job, guys’, which was really nice of him to say.
“We were all aware of his presence throughout, but in a job as serious as that we were focused on the patient.
“Control have since been back through the calls and it was someone else who called the ambulance.”
In the drama, the Tootsie and Kramer Vs Kramer actor lost his music player, glasses, umbrella and diary to the paramedics, who took them thinking they belonged to Mr Dempster. They have since been returned.
The patient was taken to hospital and underwent life-saving surgery similar to that received by Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 24, who collapsed with the same condition during a televised FA Cup game.
The footballer needed 78 minutes of resuscitation after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch while playing for Bolton against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in March.
The former England Under-21 international is continuing to make a remarkable recovery, in defiance of predictions that he was likely to suffer significant brain damage.
Writing on his recovery blog “Heart-throbbing”, Mr Dempster applauded Hoffman and the paramedics. He said he was “indebted” to Hoffman ,who was his “new-found favourite celebrity”.
He wrote: “A big thank-you also to my new-found favourite celebrity Dustin Hoffman, who called 999 and waited by my side until paramedics arrived and the staff at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital that stabilised me before I was transferred to the Royal Brompton Hospital.”
Mr Dempster also thanked well-wishers, adding that he was “indebted to Dustin Hoffman (who called for the ambulance after witnessing my collapse), Martin and Luke (paramedics who successfully resuscitated me with CPR and defibrillation), and the staff at both Chelsea & Westminster and Royal Brompton Hospitals.”
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