It's business as usual for cardiac patient, thanks to excellent ambulance care

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011

Mark, John and Paul at their celebratory meal

The owner of an Essex restaurant has spoken of his 'gift of life' from ambulance crews who rushed to his aid after he went into cardiac arrest.

Southend paramedic Paul Warwick and emergency medical technician Mark Rowley visited The Boatyard in Old Leigh on November 27 to meet John Cross, who
wanted to thank them for their "remarkable" care and attention.

John, 70, was at home in Canewden with wife Addi and eight-year-old daughter Claudia on October 3 when he began to feel unwell. He put it down to indigestion, but Addi decided to call NHS Direct for advice.

"Addi said I really wasn't looking well and as she turned and walked to the phone, she heard a 'bang' and I'd collapsed," said John. Addi called 999, and Paul and Mark were first on scene backed up by ECP Glenn Butcher on a response vehicle. John then went into cardiac arrest. Paul said: "John had been suffering chest pain and it was particularly bad because, as it turned out, the blockage was quite high up in the artery. When we arrived he was really was very poorly."

Mark added: "Addi did really well and gave us a lot of help; bearing in mind everything going on, she remained really calm." John arrested two more times and Mark and Paul used a defibrillator to shock him back to life. They took him to Basildon Hospital's PPCI unit whilst also ensuring he was stabilised with drugs. Within just 30 minutes he'd been successfully operated on to treat it.

"I woke up the next day and couldn't work out where I was," said John. "My first thought was that I'd laid out in the sun too long as my chest was sore where they'd used the defibrillator.

"My 20-year-old daughter Katie had also come to be with me; my family really didn't know what was going to happen and for them to see what was going on, and deal with it all, was unreal."

Five days later, he was discharged and although he needs some rehabilitation, doctors are pleased with John's recovery. He said:"It puts everything into perspective; it's mind altering.

To quote Rudyard Kipling, 'If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds' worth of distance run...', I am taking this as a positive sign that life is short and you need to enjoy it." Mark said: "My parents came to meet John as well and they had tears in their eyes which really brought home to us what this all meant. I'm proud and privileged that I was there to help John in his time of need." Paul added: "He's recovered so well and it was just so good to see him."

Return to news menu