The Heroes Among Us

WORDS: Jaime May PHOTOGRAPHY Brian Usher & Raven Domingo

How life can change in a heartbeat

In a heartbeat, a dreamy Saturday morning turned into a paralysing nightmare for Reggie Prasad and his wife Jane. It was a morning like any other for the couple as they were getting ready for their early morning stroll along the beach. An avid surfer, loving husband, father, and revered surf reporter for Triple M radio, Reggie’s life was an embodiment of resilience, passion, and triumph over heart disease.

Following an ominous diagnosis uncovering three blocked arteries, Reggie successfully braved a triple heart bypass surgery back in 2015 and has spent the years since becoming the epitome of health, eating a balanced diet and working out regularly.

But on this particular morning, destiny had a test in store for Reggie.

Barely 100m from their home, like his heart, time stopped for a moment and Reggie collapsed onto the boardwalk. Sheer panic crashed over Jane like a wave, immediately dialling emergency services while crying out for help from nearby strangers.

Catching a glimpse of the commotion on his drive into work, Terry Simpson, a local Deputy Principal and lifesaver at the Coolangatta Surf Club didn’t think twice about stopping to help and performing CPR on an unconscious Reggie. A man with 30 years of CPR training, now found himself in his first real-life emergency CPR situation. Terry’s swift intervention, first aid knowledge and steady composure would set the course for Reggie’s survival. “Those years of training made the process of CPR on Reggie second nature. A seamless exercise” says Simpson.

What followed was nothing short of miraculous. From the emergency services rushing Reggie to John Flynn Hospital, to Reggie’s cardiologist, Dr. Guy Wright-Smith, who happened to be on duty that day, everything seemed to align to keep Reggie alive. A timely stint unblocked Reggie’s artery, giving him a second chance at life.

Having overcome a survival rate of less than 17% with his medical history, Reggie says he’s recovering “remarkably well for a man that died.” He sends his infinite gratitude, utmost respect and deep appreciation to Terry and the incredible staff at John Flynn Hospital.

Reggie and Terry had the pleasure of meeting together a week after the incident and emotions and gratitude ran high. “The biggest thing is just seeing Reggie healthy, alive and well,” says Terry.

Happily back at work with a new lease on life, Reggie urges everyone to “give your loved ones a hug and tell them that you love them every day because you never know what day is going to be your last.”

Terry Simpson’s remarkable composure and seamless execution of CPR became the highlight of Reggie’s survival story. His message? “First aid training is vital – you never know when you’ll need it.”

Jarrad Broadhurst, General Manager of First Aid Pro Australia, warns that only 5% of Australians have an up-to-date first aid training qualification. Reggie’s story is a testament to the power of these life-saving skills.

With Reggie’s survival thanks to the intervention of bystanders with CPR training, his story sends a clear message. “There’s no excuse why people shouldn’t learn CPR. You could save the life of a loved one, friend, or a complete stranger” says Reggie.

Reggie’s tale is a stirring reminder that life is unpredictable. A walk on the beach can turn into a fight for life. But with courage, knowledge, and community support, anything is possible.

“Skills, knowledge and confidence save lives.”

– Sharon McCulloch CEO of First Aid Pro and Registered Nurse


It is never too late to learn CPR. Complete your first aid training and take the first step in becoming someone’s hero.