Essex heart attack survivor reunited with life-saving Trust staff

Bernard Green patient meet up

Grandfather Bernard Green has been reunited with John Claridge, Neil Ashford and Geoff Baulch last week, who helped save his life almost a year ago to the day.

On June 1st 2014, the 67-year-old from Leigh-on-Sea had just settled down to read the paper after a long weekend working in the garden when he felt an “awful” pain in his chest.

Despite Bernard’s attempts to play down the problem, Maureen Green, 65, called an ambulance for her normally fit and active husband – who was about to suffer a serious heart attack.

And last week Bernard finally got the chance to say thank you to Southend Paramedic John, Rayleigh EMT Neil and Canvey ECA Geoff for the part they played in his care.

Bernard said: “I told Maureen I thought I had strained myself picking up a gas bottle but it got worse so she called 999. Five minutes later there was a knock at the door and there was the ambulance and another paramedic in a car. Goodness me they were here quickly. They gave me aspirin, did ECGs, asked me questions about how bad it was getting, although it hurt to talk.

“If they didn’t act as they did, with their knowledge, I wouldn’t be here. They couldn’t have been kinder to me and to Maureen too, as when something like this happens it affects the partner as well.

“They would say they were only doing their job but I say thank God they were here. I feel very grateful.”

Neil said: “It was really nice of Bernard to write us a letter. It’s great to come here and see him healthy and back to normal.”

Bernard, who needed three stents, was also full of praise for staff at The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre at Basildon Hospital and Southend University Hospital, where he spent his recovery and later attended cardiac rehabilitation sessions.

Bernard, a keen golfer who runs a pharmaceutical packaging company, said his health had always been good so the heart attack had been a reality check. 

He said: “All my mates and family were shocked. I was fairly fit and had no other symptoms. I guess none of us are as immortal as we think we are. Sometimes you do wonder why you work all those hours. It does give you a bit of a jolt.”

Published 4th June 2015 

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