"You are worth your weight in gold"; Suffolk family thanks crews for lifesaving care

Andrew Wilding meet up

A Suffolk family has thanked ambulance staff and volunteer medics for saving Andrew Wilding’s life after his heart suddenly stopped six months ago.

The 49-year-old from Stowmarket went into cardiac arrest just after midnight on 20th November.

He cannot remember going to a church concert with his family, getting a takeaway, driving home and going to bed feeling tired but will forever be grateful to the EEAST staff and Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) clinicians who rushed to his aid.

The father-of-two, who had a heart transplant seven years ago as a result of a rare disease, had an emotional reunion with his lifesavers on Saturday (22nd April) where he thanked the people who resuscitated him.

“It is difficult to put into words, but I would not be here today if it wasn’t for these guys. It is overwhelming and it is nice to have the opportunity to meet them. I want to give something back,” he said.

The teams also praised Nicola Wilding for performing CPR on her husband. She has had no first aid training, but was guided by the EEAST Call Handler Shane Moulds to do “spot on” chest compressions before the arrival of Paramedic Harry Fisk six minutes after the 999 call. Andrew was resuscitated with one shock from a defibrillator.

Duty Locality Officer Ollie Yarrow, Benjamin Southam and Terence Lee in an ambulance, and Dr Alain Sauvage, Advanced Critical Care Practitioner Mike Hild and Paramedic Dan Phillips from SARS also rushed to his aid.

Andrew was taken to West Suffolk Hospital and transferred to Papworth Hospital where an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) was fitted in his chest.

His son Harry, 19, who plays tuba for the East of England Co-op Band, has already raised more than £3,600 for SARS from a concert and daughter Lucy, 15, has organised an non-uniform day at Stowmarket High School.  A calendar of Suffolk landscape photographs put together by Andrew is also raising money for the charity.

Published 27th April, 2017

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