Masterton sparkie enjoys life after lethal shock

By Nathan Crombie


Young Masterton electrician Michael Pearse yesterday celebrated one year since he received an electric shock which almost killed him.

Mr Pearse was revived by paramedics after 10 minutes without a heartbeat.

The 25-year-old yesterday marked the anniversary with parents Graeme and Catherine Pearse, family and workmates at Cafe Strada, the main street eatery where the drama unfolded a year earlier.

"Last year was a year of coming back for me and we thought we'd just have a coffee together to celebrate making it one year down the track," he said.

Mr Pearse, who has worked with Taylor's Electrical for the past seven years, was working at the cafe on January 9 last year and about 9.30am was about to repair a hotpoint, or electric socket, in the kitchen.

His next memory is waking up in Wairarapa Hospital with his mum at the bedside.

"I had come to work on the menu lights and went to work on the hotpoint out the back. That's when it all happened," Mr Pearse said.

"From what I've been told I was medically dead for 10 minutes. Mum told me all about it after I woke up in hospital. I didn't believe her."

He has been told he survived because of the actions of several people, including cafe co-owner Aaron Leftbridge, who immediately turned off the mains power, and a cafe diner with emergency training who gave Mr Pearse CPR until paramedics used a defibrillator to revive him.

Mrs Pearse and her husband were out of the region when they were told of the incident.

"We rushed back to the hospital and I saw them taking him out of the ambulance. He looked bad. We were taken aside and I thought 'that's it, we've lost Michael'," she said.

"I really thought he was gone but someone was sitting on his shoulder that day."

Taylor's Electrical owner Geoff Taylor said a workplace investigation had cleared Mr Pearse of any wrongdoing and there was no prosecution regarding the incident.

"There were no charges and they found Michael to be competent. They found he had followed all the health and safety rules that morning," Mr Taylor said.

"He served his apprenticeship with me and he's been with me for going on seven years now. He's a good quality tradesman and he's very safety conscious. That's what really got me."

Mr Pearse said he now realised the danger of his work.

As another way of observing the anniversary of his survival, he has vowed to never again work on January 9.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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