A Kent Man was delighted to be reunited with the people who helped save his life recently.
Stewart Bensted and his partner Helen Jenkins from Sittingbourne paid a visit to Sheppey Ambulance Station to meet the team who attended Stewart when he suffered a cardiac arrest at this home in April.
Stewart was helping his neighbour with a DIY project and had popped home to get some materials when he started to feel unwell.
Luckily for Stewart, his neighbours’ son Joseph Tribe witnessed the collapse and alerted his parents Jennifer Johnstone and Richard Tribe, who began vital CPR with another neighbour Gavin Brown, before Paramedic Practitioner, Mark Wright, arrived.
Mark said: “As I arrived, I could see two men carrying out CPR and I shouted out the window “don’t stop” because often people will stop CPR when they see us arrive.
“They were doing a great job and that’s what is so important when you have a situation like this. Getting those good chest compressions in before we arrive makes a real difference.”
While Stewart’s neighbours continued with the CPR, Mark quickly got his defibrillator ready and within three shocks, they were able to restore Stewart’s heart rhythm.
At this point, back-up arrived, including a team of Kent Fire and Rescue co-responders from Sittingbourne station, ambulance crew, Emily Coleman and Liam Noonan as well as Paramedic, Emily Brown, ECSW, Antonio Cordara, and Critical Care Paramedic, Ed Hyson.
The team continued to work to stabilise Stewart before Dr Duncan Bootland, Dr Jonathan Leung and HEMS Paramedic Lara Hammond from Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex provided additional expert treatment to prepare him ahead of his journey to hospital.
Mark added: “I can count on one hand the number of times we get a successful outcome so it is incredible to see Stewart is doing so well, without any significant issues.”
Stewart was quickly taken to the specialist cardiac unit at the William Harvey Hospital where was in ICU for six days had two stents fitted. He remained in hospital for two weeks before returning home.
While he has no memory of what took place, he had nothing but praise for the care he received.
He said: “I’m just grateful to the care I was given from my neighbours, the ambulance staff and the hospital. It was fantastic! It’s been great to meet the team in person to thank them for everything.”
The care and treatment provided to Stewart has meant he has now returned to work and is enjoying life.
Helen praised efforts of everyone involved and added: “We have been able to thank our neighbours – without their swift actions the outcome would have been so different. But we really wanted to thank all the responders too. Everyone worked so amazingly together. Mark and the paramedics stayed for a time afterwards to talk us all through everything and check we were ok. In all the uncertainty their words and care were so needed and appreciated.”