Rugby man runs half marathon a year after emergency services saved his life

Left to right: SC Mark Simpson, Ralph Kenna and PC Leigh Cutler. Photo submitted by Warwickshire Police.
Left to right: SC Mark Simpson, Ralph Kenna and PC Leigh Cutler. Photo submitted by Warwickshire Police.

A Rugby resident has run a half marathon to raise money for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance just over a year after he had his life saved by two passers by and the emergency services, including officers from Warwickshire Police.

In August 2017, Ralph Kenna was shopping in Rugby town centre when he had a cardiac arrest.

First on the scene were two passers-by, Ben Beckwith and Alex Tilley, who performed CPR and called the emergency services.

PC Leigh Cutler and Special Constable Mark Simpson arrived to take over the life saving treatment until paramedics arrived.

Ralph was put into an induced coma by the air ambulance and then taken by land ambulance to hospital, where he was kept in a coma for four days.

He spent seven weeks in hospital but has now made a full recovery and completed the Rugby half marathon on Sunday 28 October in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes.

Ralph said: “I pretty much died that day but fortunately a lot of good people rallied around to give me CPR before the emergency services arrived. Eventually they brought me back from the other side.

“I want to thank all the people who saved me and cared for me afterwards. My run symbolises this and will raise money for the Air Ambulance. In this way I hope to help other people in the future.

“My goal is to raise £1700 because that is the average cost of a helicopter rescue mission. I hope I can raise enough money to save another life.”

Ahead of his run Ralph went out to meet PC Cutler and SC Simpson.

SC Simpson said: “It was great to meet Ralph and see him looking so well. It makes me appreciate more the job that we do.”

PC Cutler said: “As a police officer we have extensive training in first aid and thankfully on that particular day my training kicked in and all involved help save Mr. Kenna’s life.

“I can only imagine it was a traumatic and stressful experience for Mr. Kenna and his family, I am just glad my colleague and I were there to help.”

To donate to Ralph’s JustGiving page click here