Man commemorates the day staff at Meadowhall shopping centre saved his life by engraving name on charity’s Heart of Steel this Christmas

A man from Sheffield has commemorated the day the security team at Meadowhall shopping centre saved his life by engraving his name on a charity’s Heart of Steel in the centre in time for Christmas.
Meadowhall shopping centreMeadowhall shopping centre
Meadowhall shopping centre

Bob Reville survived a cardiac arrest in Meadowhall Shopping Centre on September 8, 2013.

He collapsed in the food hall and stopped breathing before CPR was performed on him and one of the centre’s defibrillators was used to restart his heart.

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Due to the quick actions of the centre’s security team and a nearby nurse, 51-year-old Bob is engraving his name on the British Heart Foundation’s Heart of Steel this Christmas seven years on.

Bob and the security team who saved his life (photo: British Heart Foundation)Bob and the security team who saved his life (photo: British Heart Foundation)
Bob and the security team who saved his life (photo: British Heart Foundation)

Located at Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre and standing at 2.4 metres high, the Heart of Steel sculpture is crafted entirely from Yorkshire steel.

Bob said: “That morning I felt fine, I remember thinking I hadn’t eaten anything yet that day, so I headed for the food hall at Meadowhall.

“The next thing I know I’m waking up in hospital, very dazed and confused.

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“I have absolutely no recollection of anything that happened or how I ended up in hospital.”

After being resuscitated and stabilised by an ambulance crew, Bob was rushed to hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma.

He spent a total of 21 days recovering in hospital and had a procedure to fit a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (SICD), a device that monitors Bob’s heart rhythm and will treat dangerously abnormal rhythms to hopefully stop Bob having another cardiac arrest.

The Sheffield-resident added: “I’m so grateful for the swift actions of everyone involved that day.

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“It’s because of them that I’m here over seven years later to tell the tale.

“Once I was discharged from hospital, I went back to Meadowhall to meet the security team who saved my life.

“I wanted to do something to celebrate seven years since my cardiac arrest.

“Every time I go back to Meadowhall, I go to the food hall and sit as close to the spot where it happened as I can.

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“I can’t explain why, but I think it’s to remind me of how lucky I am, I get to walk away again.

“The fact that the BHF’s Heart of Steel is in Meadowhall Shopping Centre, where I suffered my cardiac arrest, seemed like the perfect fit.

“I hope the money raised from the Heart of Steel can help save more lives like mine.”

There are 150,000 spaces on the Heart for people to engrave the name of a loved one, or like Bob, mark a special occasion, for a minimum donation of £20 to the British Heart Foundation.

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Camilla Shelley, Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We are touched that Bob chose the Heart of Steel as the place to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the day the Meadowhall team helped save his life.

“This Christmas we’re asking the public to share a little love and support the British Heart Foundation’s Heart of Steel at a time when hearts need help more than ever. 

“1 in 4 people in the UK are affected by heart and circulatory disease. 

“Covid-19 has put those affected at greater risk than ever and has had a devastating effect on the BHF.

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“Sadly, we anticipate the BHF will have to cut funding for new research by £50 million this year. 

“So far over 46,000 people have had their name engraved on the Heart helping to raise vital funds for the BHF.

“With each new engraving we’re able to continue to fund even more vital research into beating heart and circulatory diseases, such as stroke, coronary heart disease, vascular dementia and their risk factors including diabetes, it’s hard to think of a more meaningful gift this Christmas.” 

Darren Pearce, Centre Director at Meadowhall, said: “I’m grateful to Bob for sharing his story and proud of our team who acted quickly to help him at the time.

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“The Heart of Steel is incredibly important to us, and we’re honoured to have had thousands of other people like Bob engrave their names or those of loved ones. As well as a special commemoration, every engraving helps to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation.”

Here you can find out more about getting a name engraved on the Heart of Steel.

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