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Cardiac arrest survivor thanks life-saving team

15 May 2019

Saroj, Sarah and ambulance teamA cardiac arrest survivor from Surrey has been reunited with the South East Coast Ambulance Service, (SECAmb), team who helped save his life.

Saroj Khadka, 48, who collapsed at his Cobham home on the afternoon of 12 October 2018, received immediate life-saving CPR from his wife, Sarah, under the instruction of 999 Emergency Medical Advisor, Ewan McGlashan.

Paramedic, Hannah Kelly, was first to arrive at the scene, closely followed by Community First Responder Richard Ayears. The pair were then backed up by colleagues including Critical Care Paramedic, Adam Heywood, and the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Service.

Together the team set about a prolonged attempted resuscitation which continued en route to hospital.

Saroj thanks crews“Saroj was being so well resuscitated, right from the start from Sarah, and then the whole team, that he actually had some awareness and was trying to fight us off,” explained Adam.

“It’s obviously strange when someone is reacting in that way when their heart still isn’t beating normally by itself. Given the situation, we called in the support of the air ambulance service and the decision was taken to sedate Saroj and continue to attempt get his heart into a normal rhythm en route to St George’s Hospital. We achieved this just as we arrived.

“It was a great team effort where everything just fell into place. None of it would have been possible without the quick thinking and actions of Sarah in the first instance.”

Saroj was treated for a blocked artery at St George’s before being transferred to Royal Brompton Hospital where he was placed on a specialist ECMO life-support machine, spending some eight weeks in hospital as his body recovered. Sarah was told to prepare for the worse as he experienced additional complications with acute kidney failure and respiratory failure.

However, with expert hospital treatment from both hospitals Saroj recovered and recently attended SECAmb’s Chertsey Make Ready Centre with his wife Sarah to personally thank the team.

“We had written to say thank you to the crew but we really wanted to meet them to express our thanks in person,” said coach driver, Saroj.

“I know that I’d been to the gym the morning of my collapse but in terms of the incident itself, I don’t remember a thing. It’s been quite a journey and I’ve still got a way to go while I recuperate and wait for increased strength and movement to return to my legs but I’m so blessed in so many ways. I am just so glad I’m alive to thank the whole team.”

Saroj thanks crewsThe couple also visited the air ambulance team recently to express their gratitude.

Since learning of Saroj’s collapse, villagers have worked together to organise a CPR training event.

Sarah said: “I hadn’t had any CPR training since I was a young girl guide so I was so grateful to Ewan for his clear advice and it was very special and emotional to meet him – although I do apologise to him for shouting a little on the 999 call! I would urge everyone to take the time to learn CPR as you never know when you may need it.”

Critical Care Paramedic Adam added: “On behalf of the whole team I wish Saroj and Sarah all the best for the future. It was a pleasure to meet them in better circumstances and I’m very proud to be just one part of the team who helped save his life.”

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