April 3, 2023 4.30 pm This story is over 14 months old

Lincoln runner whose heart stopped raises thousands dressed as ambulance

St John’s Ambulance were on hand to save him

By Local Democracy Reporter

A father of two from Lincoln has completed four half-marathons in eight months to raise thousands for St John Ambulance – following a cardiac arrest scare of his own in a previous race.

Jonathan Oakeley, 39, completed the Reading Half Marathon while dressed as an ambulance over the weekend – the fourth 13 mile race he has completed in just eight months.

His motivation to raise over £4,300 started some four years ago, when his heart stopped beating near the finish line of the 2019 Reading Half Marathon.

St John Ambulance volunteers were on hand to quickly help Jonathan, who remarkably went on to make a full recovery and his second chance at life gave him the blessing of fatherhood – twice.

He became desperate to show his appreciation for those volunteer workers who saved his life, and set about racing in four half marathons in eight months – clocking over 52 race miles in the process.

Jonathan said: “I really wanted to be able to give back to a charity who have given so much to me.

“Being able to retrace my steps and run the same race as before was an unforgettable experience – and something I’m utterly grateful to have been able to do; my sincerest thanks to the St John volunteers who were there for me that day.

“My story and recovery is a great example of how valuable these skills are.

“I’d really encourage everyone to do it. If not for your sake, then for that of your loved ones. If you’ve not done it for a while, then refresh yourself and book a first aid course.”

The money raised, totalling over £4,300, will help train more volunteers and ensure vital equipment is available for those needing to save more lives.

Charlotte Guiver, Director of Fundraising said: “We’re incredibly proud of Jonathan and the huge efforts he has made to fundraise for St John.

“I know his story has inspired so many not just to learn lifesaving skills, but also raise awareness of the huge and life changing impact our volunteers make in communities across the country every day.

“Everything Jonathan has raised will go straight back to our frontline helping fund volunteer training and make sure they’re equipped with the latest devices – so they can continue to be there in the moments that matter and save more lives.”