Sailor battles back from cardiac arrest to take on 54-mile bike ride

A CARDIAC arrest, being put in an induced coma and battling an aggressive form of pneumonia won't stand in the way of a naval officer's bid to complete cycle ride.

Petty Officer Warfare Specialist Christopher Potter, based at HMS Collingwood, is about to embark upon a 54-mile cycling challenge to raise money for The British Heart Foundation and support research that helped save his life.

Last year the 42-year-old, who specialises in Above Water Training, suffered a sudden and massive cardiac arrest while sitting at his desk in HMS King Alfred on Whale Island in Portsmouth.

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His colleagues rushed to perform CPR on him until an ambulance arrived but his heart had stopped and the crew had to shock him before it finally restarted.

In hospital Chris was put in an induced coma for nine days during which he succumbed to an aggressive form of pneumonia, meaning the hospital struggled to revive him.

But after spending three weeks in hospital, he returned home and was determined to raise money for care, support and research in to heart conditions.

He said: ‘Less than ten per cent of people who have a sudden cardiac arrest outside hospital survive.

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‘I decided to do this myself to raise money for the British Heart Foundation for their work.

‘Their research into heart conditions will help beat what is the biggest killer.’

Chris now has an internal cardiac defibrillation unit fitted that is monitored remotely via a mobile telephone connection.

The device can sense when his heart begins to beat irregularly and correct it immediately. If his heart should stop again, it will administer a shock to revive him.

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On Sunday June 17, Chris will start the tough 54-mile London to Brighton bike ride solo.

He has been training for the ride cycling 20 miles a day and doing rides of 37 miles at the weekend after being given the all clear.

To support Chris and donate to The BHF visit

The BHF is aiming to raise £500m in research funding by 2020 to increase the impact of its research and to focus on areas it cannot currently work on.