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SECAmb’s first-ever survivors event

Press Release: 14 November 2011

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust held its first-ever survivors’ event recently.

Eight patients who would not be alive today if it had not been for the clinical interventions of SECAmb staff attended the event which was held at Leeds Castle near Maidstone on Sunday, 25 September.

Joining staff and patients was BBC journalist and BBC’s Real Rescue host, Louise Minchin.

Along with the Trust’s new Chairman, Tony Thorne, and Chief Executive Paul Sutton, they had an opportunity to meet and hear the survivors’ stories first-hand.

One survivor, Keith Aston, and Joanne Michaelides also shared their inspirational achievements following Keith’s dramatic emergency.

Keith from Farnham in Surrey was cycling when he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest.  A number of people rushed to assist Keith but it was not until Joanne who was passing in her car that vital CPR started.

At the event Keith said: “If it wasn’t for Joanne, I wouldn’t be here today because by the time the ambulance staff arrived it may have been too late.  This clearly highlights how important it is that CPR is carried out immediately.”

Following this event, Joanne and Keith have kept in touch and, with the support of SECAmb, the two have started a local campaign to see school children in the area taught basic life support.

Chief Executive, Paul Sutton said:  “This was a wonderful opportunity to recognise the tremendous efforts of our staff and to celebrate the lives which have been saved as a result.

These are just a few of the many successes which take place across our region every day and are testament to how far the ambulance service has come on in recent years..

What is equally overwhelming is what has also been achieved as a result of these successes such as Keith’s story and we would urge people to take up the opportunity to learn basic life support as you never know when you may need it.”

Survivors who attended and their stories

Jo Funnell – is the wife of a West Sussex fire officer, Martin Funnell, from Littlehampton, who called for an ambulance after Jo suspected she was suffering a heart attack on August Bank Holiday Monday, last year.  She went on to arrest several times in the ambulance.  However, she has made a full recovery.

SECAmb team: Tony Gilbert - Clinical Team Leader and Paramedic, Peter Knight – Paramedic, Richard Harris - Ambulance Technician, Paul Johnson - Emergency Call Operator.

David Yates – is the father of Hove PTS team leader, Roger Yates.  David was suffering from chest pain at his home in Brighton when he called for an ambulance on 23 September last year. Mr Yates was being transferred to hospital when he arrested eight times on the back of the ambulance.  He went on to make a great recovery.

SECAmb team: Paul Ellis - Ambulance Technician, Richard Bolt – Paramedic, Andy Parker - Paramedic Practitioner, Peter West - Ambulance Technician, John Hartnell - Emergency Call Operator.

Jo Hill – a physiotherapist had to be resuscitated and shocked six times after suffering a cardiac arrest. Joy Hill collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in Epsom in December last year.

SECAmb Team: Morris MacKenzie - Clinical Team Leader & Paramedic, James Wright - Emergency Care Support Worker, Stuart Dallas – Paramedic, Gary Carey - Ambulance Technician, Debbie Clark - Emergency Call Operator.

Keith Ashton - suffered a cardiac arrest in September 2009 when cycling through Farnham.  A member of the public Joanne Michaelides, passing when the incident took place, commenced CPR in the minutes before crews arrived. Keith went on to make a great recovery and advocate of CPR training.

SECAmb Team: Stuart Aslett – Paramedic, Mark Newton - Clinical Team Leader & Paramedic, Trevor Cooper - Ambulance Technician, David Myles Green - Community First Responder, Frances Cable - Emergency Call Operator

Helpers at the scene: Joanna Michaelides, Chris Birney.

Liam Tuite – from Canterbury was 23-years-old when he suffered a cardiac arrest while exercising in June this year. The incident has left a significant mark on the family with Liam’s partner Patricia now making plans to see CPR taught at the primary school where she teaches.

SECAmb team: Teresa Nikraz - Ambulance Technician, Ian Wood - Emergency Care Support Worker, Mick Cook – Paramedic, Jolene Tovey - Emergency Call Operator.

Helpers at scene: Ashley Tuite, and girlfriend, Patricia.

Peter Lewis – from Eastbourne was about to take the family dog for a walk when he began feeling very unwell.  He managed to return home before collapsing and suffered a cardiac arrest.  SECAmb staff worked tirelessly to revive him.  Their determination paid off and he was taken to Conquest Hospital in Hastings to received Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.   Whilst in theatre, it became apparent that Peter’s left anterior descending artery was 99 per cent blocked in one place and 80 per cent in another. Consequently, he had four stents fitted.

SECAmb Team: Jane Lupton – Paramedic, Ian Morrison – Paramedic, David Hopkins – Paramedic, Kim Croucher - Emergency Call Operator.

Jon Burgess – Was taking part in a six-a-side football match at Worthing’s leisure centre in October last year, when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Richard Harris, who works for SECAmb, was at the centre with his daughter when she alerted him to the situation.  He rushed to the scene to find people trying to assist but no one carrying out CPR.  Richard commenced CPR while the ambulance was called.  The CPR undertaken by Richard before crews arrived contributed to such a successful outcome for Jon.

SECAmb Team: Richard Williams - HR Manager, Richard Brandon - Critical Care Paramedic, Tom Hastings - Emergency Care Support Worker, Wendy Hughes - Ambulance Technician, Simon Stevens – Paramedic, John Pollard - Ambulance Technician, Ian Stringer – Paramedic, Paul Johnson - Emergency Call Operator.

Barbara Hanscomb – was enjoying a quiet evening watching the X-factor at home in Ashford, when she went in cardiac arrest. Her husband struggled to get her the help she needed but thanks to the tireless efforts of the ambulance staff, they managed to revive her and now she is once again enjoying spending precious time with her grandchildren.

SECAmb Team: Robert Lambert – Paramedic, David Radcliffe - Ambulance Technician, Ellen Grant - Ambulance Technician, Christopher Pentecost – Paramedic, Rebecca Ayling - Emergency Call Operator.

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