“You are heroes to me” – Hertfordshire man thanks lifesavers after cardiac arrest

Date: 15 August 2016


A man has been credited for his “crucial role” in saving his Dad’s life by an ambulance crew after he suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this year.

Mark Sullivan was called by his Mum on the morning of March 12th after she had dialled 999 to tell him his Dad Colin was having severe chest pains at their home at the time in Henham.

Shortly after, Mark and a crew from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) arrived in the form of Paramedic Ian Studd and Student Paramedic Sam Smith to help 68 year old Colin.

It was clear to both Ian and Sam that he was not in a good way, Ian said: “We carried out some routine tests and the results that came back confirmed to me and Sam that Colin was having a heart attack.”

Moments later, Colin unfortunately went into cardiac arrest in front of both the crew and Mark. With the guidance of the crew, Mark helped with basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), he said: “Strangely I remained very calm, but it was an extremely scary situation looking back on it.”

The basic but vital role that he played was hailed by both Sam and Ian, and Sam said: “Mark played a crucial part in saving his Dad’s life; it made the world of difference.”

After 10 minutes of CPR and five shocks with a defibrillator, Colin’s heart began beating again. He was stabilised and taken to Lister Hospital in Stevenage where he remained for two weeks.

On Friday 12th August, five months to the day, Colin and Mark were reunited with Sam and Ian in an emotional meet up at Bishop’s Stortford station.

Colin, who has no recollection of the events of 12th March, said: “I’ve always been a fighter but these two chaps made sure that I came through the other side, I am indebted to them, and they are heroes to me. I also would like to thank the staff at Lister who were fantastic.”

Mark added: “I have to say in terms of professionalism my jaw dropped, the level of care my Dad received that day was second to none; we are so thankful.”

For more information on chest pains visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/your-service/chest-pain.htm

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