Written by Editorial Team, DonateToday

'They ensured I lived to see another day - twice': Man who suffered two heart attacks in 10 months grateful for speedy, life-saving care provided by Air Service

'They ensured I lived to see another day – twice': Man who suffered two heart attacks in 10 months grateful for speedy, life-saving care provided by Air Service

  • Brian, from Suffolk, was the victim of two heart attacks in just 10 months
  • The hospital which he required specialist treatment at was an hour's drive away
  • Thankfully the East Anglian Air Ambulance were on hand to save his life twice
  • The service were able to slash the journey time to just 15 minutes

Written by Samantha Lade for DonateToday

PUBLISHED: 16:14, 19th Sep 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27, 30th Oct 2017

Disaster Strikes

Many people are unlucky to suffer the one heart attack in their lifetime. But Brian from Suffolk was unfortunate enough to suffer two heart attacks, in the space of just 10 months.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance charity have attended 20,000 lifesaving missions with their two high-tech helicopters

In October of 2013, Brian was at his next door neighbour's house complaining of chest pains and considering going to the doctors, when his heart suddenly stopped.

'The chest pains worsened and I collapsed,' recalls Brian. 'I was in cardiac arrest. Mick was on the 999 call at the time, and he was coached by the call handler to perform CPR on me – something I was fortunate that he had learned in the army some years before.  

'Mick kept my heart beating until the land paramedic arrived when he took over.'

However, Brian's home in Woodbridge, Suffolk was almost 50 miles away from the hospital that he urgently needed to be at in Central Norwich to receive treatment. That's where the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) came to Brian's aid.

"My heart stopped three times en route to the hospital."

- Brian

A Speedy JourneyHel

What would have been a journey of around an hour and fifteen minutes was slashed to just 20 minutes thanks to the help of the EAAA – although the journey was not necessarily a smooth one.

'My heart stopped three times en route to the hospital,' explains Brian, speaking to the East Anglian Air Ambulance's website. 

'But once I arrived they were quick to operate and fit a stent to fix the problem in my heart that was causing it to keep stopping.' It was clear that the speed at which the Air Ambulance had gotten Brian to the hospital was critical to saving his life.

But unfortunately for the Suffolk native, this was not his last brush with the EAAA. Just 10 months later, a second heart attack struck an unsuspecting Brian.

Second Time Around

'The stent hadn’t resolved the problem fully, and the following August I collapsed again, and luckily Mick was on hand again and kept my heart going until the air ambulance crew arrived,' says Brian of the incident which occurred in the summer 2014.

'It was the same critical-care paramedic who came, Rod Wells, and he recognised us both immediately.'

The air ambulance interior became a familiar sight to Brian

'I got to hospital far quicker than I would have done by road, and I benefitted from the medical expertise a critical-care paramedic and doctor bring. I will forever be grateful to Mick, the paramedics, and to EAAA for all they did together to ensure I lived to see another day. Twice.

'Most people don’t think they will ever need the services of the air ambulance - I was one of those people. But having now been attended by them several times I can safely say I have needed them – but I certainly hope never to need to use them again!' finishes Brian.

Please note that names may have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved. Images are used for illustrative purposes only and, unless specified, persons included in images are posed models, not the persons mentioned in the article.