Ashford ReunionA young man from Whitstable, Kent who suffered a severe head injury in May 2023 was recently reunited with three ambulance service colleagues who helped to save his life.

A year on from the incident, Robert King, now aged 29, visited South East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb) Ashford Make Ready Centre in Kent. Alongside his mother, Jackie, and father, Alan, Robert met with Finlay Pengelly, Student Paramedic, Martin Basden, Emergency Care Support Worker, and Lake Akiode Ambulance Paramedic, three of the crew who helped save Robert’s life.

Following Robert’s severe head injury which left him in a coma for a week, he was airlifted to Kings’ College Hospital in London where he spent five weeks. Due to being in a coma, Robert has little to no memory of the incident, but was thankful the reunion allowed him and his family to find out more about the events that took place.

The three ambulance service colleagues who met with Robert and his family shared some insights into the quick decisions that they made in order to stabilize his breathing and to get him to hospital as quick as possible.

When Robert first awoke from the coma, he had no movement down one side of his body, no speech and couldn’t remember his own name. Since then, and a year on, Robert is making good progress on his journey to recovery and has hopes of returning to work as soon as possible.

Robert and his family also recently visited colleagues at Kings’ College Hospital in London to express their thanks for the care received there.

Robert said, “The crew really are my heroes, and I wouldn’t be here today without them. They undoubtedly saved my life and I owe them a huge thank you at the least. In reality, I owe them so much more.”

Finlay said, “I was thrilled that my first patient reunion at SECAmb was with Robert and his family. It was fantastic to see him doing so well in his recovery and we all wish him the very best for the future.”

Robert said, “The road to recovery will be long, and I still have a long way to go, but I am recovering and even thinking about returning to work as soon as possible.”