Volunteer Pieter-Henk Verkade ‘The victim died. That touches you for sure’

HeartsafeLiving volunteer Pieter-Henk Verkade resuscutated a well-known acquaintance and fellow volunteer at HeartsafeLiving. “Later in the evening we were told that the victim was deceased. That touches you for sure,” he says. Pieter-Henk tells his story.

First Aid

During an evening course of his First Aid association in ’s Gravenzande Pieter-Henk Verkade stood behind the bar. Then he received a text message alert for a resuscitation at the local sports park. Together with his colleague Aline van de Bos he quickly drove to the incident to provide assistance. The victim seemed to bo fellow volunteer at HeartsafeLiving who he knew.

Rescue breathing

Someone had already started rescue breathing, Pieter-Henk took over. A member of the football team did chest compressions. With an AED the victim received multiple electric shocks. When the police and ambulance arrived, the officers took over the massage. Pieter-Henk continued rescue breathing until the paramedics were ready to take over CPR. Meanwhile, there were several neighborly assistants arrived from HeartsafeLiving. “So you are not on your own,” says Pieter-Henk.


He experienced that the reality is very different from a CPR training: “A body feels very different than a CPR manikin. During a resuscitation you have no sense of time: everything is going so fast. At the time the ambulance left, we realized what had happened.

Victim support

The volunteers were offered victim support of both HeartsafeLiving as of the victim support of Westland. Pieter-Henk: “That’s good, because a resuscitation doesn’t leave you cold. During the condolence the family thanked me again for the help I had given. You can not get more appreciation. The family also asked me to carry flowers during the funeral. Which I have experienced as a nice end to the mourning.