Shaunna Farley – Friday 20th October 2023 – 9.35am.
A cardiac arrest is a life-threatening emergency, knowing the signs that one might be about to occur can make a vital difference in the chances of survival.
Russ Taylor’s wife, Mandy, called 999 as he was experiencing nausea and pain in his arms and chest. When Paramedics, Emily and Alex arrived, he suffered a cardiac arrest in front of them.
They quickly put their skills to work and were able to administer advanced life support to Russ, using CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and shocks with a defibrillator, amongst further advanced life support skills to save his life.
Russ and Mandy, made it their mission to thank the ambulance staff who had saved his life and after time spent recovering, Russ was reunited with Alex and Emily on Thursday (October 11) at Tollgate Ambulance Hub in Stafford.
Ambulance staff rarely hear an update on a patient’s condition once they have been handed over at hospital, making Mandy and Russ’ efforts to contact the Trust and find them even more special.
Alex said: “A cardiac arrest is one of the most life-threatening conditions we will attend to. When we arrived and assessed Russ, we recognised the symptoms of a heart attack, and we know that this can quickly turn into a cardiac arrest.
“We instantly went to work to provide life support and ultimately, restart the heart. In doing this, we’ve been able to keep a husband and wife together and ensure that Russ’s life did not end that night.
“Being reunited with Russ and Mandy is one of the proudest moments of my career. I’m so grateful of them getting in touch with the service to thank us, knowing he is recovering well is an incredible feeling.”
Russ said: “I was incredibly lucky to have such skilled and caring professionals surrounding me when the worst happened.
“I had once read somewhere about the symptoms of a heart attack, and how they can lead to a cardiac arrest. In the past, I might have discounted symptoms like vomiting, pain in my chest, shooting pain in my left arm and sudden sweating, as something else. This was different to anything I had experienced before and I knew it was time to call 999.
“Thankfully Mandy made the call for me when she did and the crew were there to help me when I needed them the most. I am now recovering well with Mandy and I’m very grateful to the paramedics who helped me when I needed them.”
Emily added: “In a cardiac arrest situation, every second counts. The fact that we were able to be at Russ’ aid right before, and when he went into arrest meant that we were able to start CPR and advanced life support immediately gave Russ the best possible chance of survival.
“Every patient we save makes us so proud to work as paramedics. Being able to meet Russ and Mandy again under these happy circumstances is something I will never forget.”
Mandy added: “When I first saw Emily and Alex again, I felt overwhelmed with emotion. I will be eternally grateful to them for giving me my husband back. Without them, this would have been an entirely different story.
“I am very grateful to the second ambulance crew as well, Paramedic, Joseph Hunt and Student Paramedic, Hollie Nulty, for keeping me so calm, reassured and informed in the midst of a crisis. They made a horrible experience slightly calmer for me.”
For more information on cardiac arrest, CPR and how to use a defibrillator, head to: https://wmas.nhs.uk/restart-a-heart-day/