Suffolk man thanks life-savers after collapse at Ipswich match

Staff at EEAST and the Emergency Medical Doctors Service (EDMS) have been praised after saving the life of an Ipswich football fan during Ipswich Town’s penultimate home game (Tuesday, 19th April) - after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Ralph Crich, 48, from Capel St Mary was at Portman Road when his heart started to race. “Before the game, my heart was beating fast but I put that down to pre-match nerves,” he said. “By the start of the second half I didn’t feel great so my friends took me to the back of the stands and called the stewards.”

Unfortunately, Ralph collapsed and went into cardiac arrest but luckily, a speedy response from EEAST and EDMS staff, who were working at the match, ensured he had the best chance of survival.

Jason Gillingham, Senior Locality Manager for east Suffolk said: “Unfortunately, as we (EEAST) arrived, Ralph had a full cardiac arrest but was quickly resuscitated with the help of Dr Aaron Pennell (EDMS) and their staff.”

Dale Banyard-Sawyer, an emergency care assistant who helped revive Ralph said: “To see him on his feet so quickly is amazing, I’ve never seen a recovery as quick as his. It was an excellent team effort from everyone involved.”

Ralph was given the honour of presenting the player of the month award before the game and was also given a new Ipswich shirt after his was cut off following his scare.

Ralph said: “It was one of the best days of my life, everything from the applause from my friends and fans before the game to then presenting player of the month and the replacement shirt was incredible, it was a once in a lifetime experience - my thanks to everyone at the club for making my day so memorable.”

He added: “I will forever be indebted to everyone and their quick actions which saved my life, I cannot thank them enough for that.” 

Published 12th May, 2016

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