Press release: "These heroes saved my life"

It’s the kind of scenario you’d be hard pushed to write as fiction, let alone fact.

Welwyn Garden City resident Geoff Poore spent 10 years teaching Red Cross volunteers and ambulance staff cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) - but little did he know that three of those very students would one day save his own life.

Last month, Geoff, from Welwyn was driving along Ludwick Way when he suffered a heart attack. He fell unconscious, and crashed into two stationary vehicles before coming to a halt.

By sheer coincidence, Geoff crashed outside the house of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) Student Paramedic Dan Rawlings.

This was enough to be able to increase the chances of Geoff’s survival, given Dan was indoors at the time and heard the commotion.

But in a twist of fate, he happened to be having tea with Red Cross volunteers Beth and Christine Whitbread, two people whose CPR skills were taught by the very person they rushed to the aid of.

It wasn’t until Dan approached that he realised the man he was about to perform CPR on was Geoff. Dan said: “I couldn’t quite believe what was happening; Geoff had taught me these life-saving skills and there I was putting them into action actually on him.”

They dialled 999 and within four minutes, Paramedic Spencer North arrived. He was followed by an ambulance crew, ambulance officer and East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), as well as Duty Locality Officer Steven Snow.

All in all, Geoff had basic CPR performed on him for 20 minutes by Dan, Beth, and Christine. Steve said: “I arrived second on scene expecting my staff (Spencer) performing CPR, but to my amazement Dan who I wasn’t expecting at all was doing that for him. It was a huge weight off my shoulders; so much more was achieved because of that.”

The critical care team from EAAA played a vital role by placing Geoff into a medically-induced coma before he was transported to Lister Hospital by land ambulance.

Despite such a serious incident, Geoff has made a tremendously quick recovery, after being fitted with a pacemaker and defibrillator he has already been cleared to drive by doctors just six weeks after that fateful day. And yesterday, (27th October) he was reunited with his life-savers at Ascots Lane ambulance station where he and his family got their chance to personally thank the staff who saved him.

Geoff said: “I don’t remember anything two days before or the actual incident. All I know is that I can’t thank EEAST, Red Cross, and EAAA enough, these heroes saved my life. Because of the speed and quality of treatment they gave, I am able to see my family again; these heroes saved my life.”

He also added how vital he believes CPR is: "I'd like to think that I am living proof that early CPR saves lives."

Geoff has nothing but praise for everyone involved. “They will all have a special place in my heart, my wife still has her husband, my daughter still has her dad, and I can see my grandson grow up now. They say it is just their job, but it is more than that to me, it is my life.”

Pictured: Geoff with his life-savers

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