Man thanks crews for giving him a ‘second chance’

Ambulance side shot

A Cambridgeshire man has thanked staff and volunteers for giving him a “second chance” after saving his life six months ago.

Peter Swan said he was “eternally grateful” and 13th January had become his “second birthday” when he was resuscitated after suffering a cardiac arrest at home in Ely.

Thanks to the quick thinking of his daughter, Sophie, who immediately called 999 and started CPR, and the fast response of community first responders (CFRs), ambulance and air ambulance staff, the 52-year-old is on course to make a full recovery.

The father-of-three, who cannot remember anything from the experience, had an emotional reunion with his life-savers last week (22nd June).

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

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 the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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

His first memory following the emergency was waking up in hospital eight days later – and amazingly 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 (EMT) 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.”

Published 1st July, 2016

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