Borehamwood man meets team who restarted his heart

Date: 16 July 2019

Mike Holmes

Mike Holmes, his fiancé Natalie and their daughter Lauren visited our Watford ambulance station recently to thank the crew who saved his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

The 4th April began as any normal day for Mike, who lives in Borehamwood with his family. He had been tinkering with one of his motorcycles throughout the afternoon, and as he was finishing up he noticed he was feeling a bit short of breath. Mike rested a little and carried on with his day, collected Lauren from school, made his way home and prepared dinner for the family. Later that evening Mike began to feel increasingly unwell and went to bed to rest at 8.30pm.

Natalie checked on him a couple of times and said he had a bit of indigestion. At 11.30pm Natalie went to bed and checked again if Mike was okay, Mike replied “I’m half better and think I’m over the worst of it.” Little did he or Natalie know that was far from the truth.

As Natalie prepared for bed, she noticed Mike’s breathing had changed and become noisy – like he was snoring. Natalie immediately realised something was wrong and tried to get a response from Mike. Mike was unresponsive so Natalie tried to call 999 but was unable to unlock her phone so shouted for the help of their daughter Lauren. Lauren called 999 and was connected to Call Handler Jenna Burkitt who calmly gave instructions to Natalie and Lauren over the telephone on how to give Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to Mike. Ambulance crews were simultaneously dispatched to help Mike at home by one of our dispatchers.

On the crew's arrival Mike was unconscious and not breathing - he was in cardiac arrest. Luckily for Mike the ambulance crew was on scene three minutes after the 999 call was made. It was discovered that Mike was in Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) and he was shocked with a defibrillator and was resuscitated. An early decision was made to request support from the Fire and Rescue service to use their specialist extrication kit to get Mike downstairs and into the ambulance.

After an electrocardiogram (ECG) it was discovered that Mike had suffered a heart attack that had caused his cardiac arrest. He was taken to Harefield Hospital where he underwent emergency angioplasty and had one stent fitted. Mike was discharged home a few days later.

Mike has been taking things easy since the incident, however did make one change and finally asked Natalie to marry him – which they plan to do in August this year!

At an emotional meeting, our crew enjoyed the opportunity to meet Mike and his family again and help celebrate how successful the outcome had been.

Natalie thanked the team for their efforts and the calmness they displayed.

Mike said he was hugely grateful and was surprised he beat the odds.

Lauren hopes to go on to University and hasn’t ruled out a career as a paramedic.

  • Summary:

    Mike Holmes and his family recently visited our Watford ambulance station to thank the EEAST crew who saved his life after his cardiac arrest.