This personal trainer forgot his entire family after suffering a devastating cardiac arrest
Imagine waking up with absolutely no idea who your nearest and dearest are. It's a bizarre notion, a 50 First Dates type of scenario where you'd have to relearn your entire life from beginning to end. However, it's exactly the heartbreaking situation that a personal trainer from Manchester found himself in when he suffered a cardiac arrest and then forgot his entire family.
It was seemingly a normal day when Garth Suthurst, a man from Manchester who lives in Marbella, suddenly collapsed on a treadmill one day. The arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop was unexpected to say the least: Garth was a 39-year-old fitness fanatic whose job it was to train other people and appeared to be in perfect shape.
However, everything changed when his heart stopped beating. Found on the floor by someone in the gym, Garth had turned blue and was cold to the touch. It was more than 20 minutes before medics restarted his heart with a defibrillator.
At first, medical staff reportedly feared that he would not survive the ordeal, and when he woke up, his family were elated. However, their happiness soon disappeared when they came to the tragic realisation that he did not recognise any of them - including his own eight-year-old daughter Lily.
After an unspecified time period in the hospital, during which he had no idea who his family were, his loved ones finally got a glimmer of hope in the unusual form of a Beatles song. The 39-year-old's partner Sorrel Lewis and his sister Rachael were playing him playlists of music to help with his recovery when the well-known song Hey Jude came on. All of a sudden, Garth began singing the words along with them.
It was at that moment that his family knew his brain remembered something from before the accident. His partner 36-year-old Sorrel told the Manchester Evening News: "There was no one he could have just learned that from. His brain had recalled it. It was such an amazing moment and we just cried we were so happy."
Now, after a 35-day stint in the hospital, Garth recognises his family and is slowly recovering, with doctors claiming he only survived because he was so fit. His family are now keen to raise awareness, letting people know that a sudden cardiac arrest can affect anyone and everyone, no matter how fit they are.
“It has been an extremely difficult time but the progress Garth has made has been amazing." Sorrel said, speaking to the Manchester Evening News, "There are so many people in his situation who never survive. The fact that he is so fit and strong has certainly helped him. Of course, it’s hard that he has had to learn almost everything from scratch, including all of our names. At the beginning, he couldn’t remember anyone."
She continued: “But I was so worried he would be changed forever, where as you can definitely still tell Garth is still there. He has asked after his daughter Lily, which was a magical moment, and he just wants to get out of the hospital and start working again and for earn for his family."
We're glad to hear Garth is on the road to recovery and wish him all the best.