Darren the paramedic meets Darren the patient

Thursday 18th June 2015 – 9.40am – Chris Kowalik.

For Telford-based paramedic Darren Hall, meeting patient Darren Whitehead was a first in his 23-year career.

On April 8th 2013 Mr. Whitehead from Trench first had chest pain, then multiple pulmonary embolisms and several cardiac arrests.

He spent 22 weeks in hospital and six weeks in rehab. A hospital doctor warned Darren’s mother that he would either die or “be a cabbage in a nursing home.”

But he got through as a result of being “strong-minded” as described by hospital nurses.

More than two years later, Darren is back at home. At the suggestion of another paramedic, Darren’s mother Shiela Whitehead wrote to West Midlands Ambulance Service asking if the family could meet those who saved his life initially. In her letter, she wrote: “Darren has hypoxic brain damage and epilepsy – needs 24/7 care but is happy and has a quirky sense of humour.”

On Saturday, June 13th Darren and his family visited Donnington ambulance hub to meet paramedic Darren Hall. They discussed what happened to Mr. Whitehead two years earlier, his initial and longer-term recovery and how Headway Shropshire is helping in his rehabilitation. He is looking forward to his second summer holiday in Wales in as many years.

Darren Meets Darren 2 Darren Meets Darren 1

Darren Hall said: “I’ve been doing this for quite some time. I can say hand-on-heart that you are the very first person in 23 years who has been able to and had the courage to come here and do what you’ve done. It’s really good for me to see you sitting here.”

Darren Whitehead replied: “It’s really good to be here.”


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