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Medway man offers gratitude to staff who saved him

Press release - 4 January 2010

The 63-year-old man has put his current good health down to the exceptional care he received from South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust and other NHS staff.

Mr Peter Bell from Chatham says that it is thanks to the great care and his dogged determination which has lead him to be ahead in his recovery from a heart attack that he suffered in June.

Mr Bell said: “I know if it wasn’t for what the ambulance and hospital staff did for me I wouldn’t be here today.  I can’t thank these guys enough, I owe them my life. “

Mr Bell was enjoying the early summer weather when he was stuck down.  His son went to his aid and a neighbour quickly called for an ambulance.

Mr Bell said: “I don’t remember a great deal.  I remember my arm hurting, feeling dizzy and then feeling like I had an elephant sitting on my chest.  I was quite surprised to find out that I had suffered a heart attack. 

“I have always been quite fit and had not suffered any problems in the past.”

Medway single responder, Paul Webber, and Sittingbourne clinicians, clinical team leader Gary Ormston and technician Gracie Marriott quickly arrived.

They soon established that he had suffered a heart attacked and were looking to give him clot-busting therapy, thrombolysis, which dissolves clots which can block blood vessels and cause heart attacks. 

Paul Webber said: “We were all set to thrombolyse when the episode passed so we quickly got him on board the ambulance and I understand just as he arrived at hospital he suffered another attack and he was thrombolysed in A&E.”

All SECAmb paramedics are trained to carry out thrombolytic therapy and last financial year, 86 per cent of eligible patients received thrombolytic therapy within 60 minutes of making a 999 call.  The national target is 68 per cent.

Mr Bell said: “This has really changed my life.  From that moment I gave up smoking and there is certain food which I can’t eat anymore. 

“I lost my wife to cancer and many more of my family in the last three and half years.  I want to be round to watch my grandchildren grow up.”

Heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer. In 2002 cardiovascular disease caused 39 per cent of deaths in the UK killing 238,000 people.

Recognising the early symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, pain in arms, shortness of breath or feeling sweaty, is important. Calling for an ambulance can potentially save lives.

 

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