Richard was playing in a charity football match with his team Cadbury Heath FC, something he had been looking forward to for a while, when he began to feel unwell.
Brushing it off as tiredness, Richard carried on playing as they were towards the end of the game, but when his chest pains increased, Richard’s team mate out him in the recovery position. He was having a heart attack and needed help fast.
Richard was deteriorating quickly, and when the ambulance paramedics arrived, they feared the worst. Starting to do CPR on him, they called in GWAAC for assistance.
Seven minutes later, our helicopter was landing on the pitch, bringing our skilled Specialist Paramedic’s and Critical Care Doctor to Richard’s side. Richard was in such a critical condition that it was vital for him to be treated at the scene, as he wouldn’t have made it to hospital in time.
Cardiac arrests are sadly one of the most common incident we are called to. When someone has a cardiac arrest their heart is giving up – the first few minutes are vital, and quick treatment means the difference between life and death.
When Richard was stable enough to travel we airlifted him to hospital, where he spent five days in a coma, and a further 11 days recovering on a ward.
Richard doesn’t remember anything from the day, but is aware that without the Critical Care Team’s assistance, his story could have had a very different ending.
Richard said: “One thing I do know is that if it wasn’t for the quick response of my friends and the fantastic professionalism of all the medical professionals that came to my aid, I wouldn’t be here today.
“I have no doubt that along with the ambulance staff, doctors and surgeons, the Critical Care Team from Great Western Air Ambulance Charity played an integral part in saving my life that day.”
Richard went on to make a full recovery. Following on from this, Cadbury Heath FC decided to hold a fundraising event to purchase a defibrillator for the club. The event was so successful, that they were not only able to purchase a defibrillator, but also make a donation to us for £500 from the remaining funds at Richard’s request.