Heart attack survivor thanks lifesaving crew at emotional reunion

Heart attack survivor thanks lifesaving crew at emotional reunion

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An Ely heart attack surviver has thanked ambulance staff and volunteers for giving him a “second chance” after saving his life six months ago.

Father of three Peter Swan had an emotional reunion with his life-savers on Wednesday.

Peter Swan (centre) with his wife Julie and daughter Sophie with his life-savers at Ely01

Peter, who can’t remember anything from the experience, is “eternally grateful” and January 13 has become his “second birthday” after he was resuscitated following a cardiac arrest at his home.

Thanks to the quick actions of his daughter, Sophie, and the fast response of community first responders (CFR), East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) staff, the 52-year-old is on course to make a full recovery.

The computer salesman had returned home from a run on January 13 when he started getting chest pain and collapsed at about 7.45pm.

Sophie immediately called 999 and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Within four minutes of the 999 call, Claire Taylor and David Clarke from Ely CFRs were on scene, closely followed by Amber Bradbury and Jake Fretwell in an ambulance. Adrian Sands and Jacqueline Hayward attended in another ambulance, followed by duty locality officer Matt Sharp in a response car and Dr Nathan Howes and critical care paramedic Tim Daniels from EAAA.

After eight shocks from a defibrillator, they managed to resuscitate Peter who was taken by land ambulance to Papworth Hospital where he had surgery to repair a blocked artery.

His first memory following the emergency was waking up in hospital eight days later. He was discharged 13 days after his cardiac arrest.

Peter, who has since had a defibrillator implanted in his chest, said: “I am eternally grateful. It was totally unexpected and not wanted, but this has been given me a second chance and I have a second birthday.

It has been a very slow recovery and I realise it is a long road but I’m alive and that is the main thing.”

His wife Julie added: “It was amazing to have so much care there. It was a terrifying experience, but I knew he was getting the best possible treatment and I am so grateful.”

Peter is looking forward to becoming a grandfather later this summer. However, because of the amnesia he suffered following his collapse, his daughter Emma had to tell him seven times that she and her partner were having a baby.

Emergency Medical Technician Adrian and his colleagues also praised 22-year-old Sophie, who has had no formal first aid training, for the actions that helped save her dad’s life.

He said: “We go to so many people who do not try CPR when someone is cardiac arrest. However, Sophie was spot on and did really well and had the confidence to get on the chest and do something. That is why his recovery has been so good.”

It was the first cardiac arrest that CFR Claire had attended after completing her training with EEAST to attend medical emergencies.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer first responder, visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders