A father-of-two who brought a ‘dead’ man back to life is being recognised for his achievement days after realising his dream of becoming a student paramedic.
On June 24, last year, Christopher Guest, 29, was driving from Stowmarket towards Bury St Edmunds when he stopped to offer help to a man who was desperately trying to resuscitate his son, a father-of-three, on the side of the busy A14.
Stephen ‘Steve’ Gilbert had managed to drag the lifeless body of his 34-year-old son, James Gilbert, into a lay-by after he had suffered a cardiac arrest.
He said: “He had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. He was definitely dead.
“I felt numb, absolutely numb, and helpless. Cars were whizzing by and I thought if I got him outside maybe someone would stop.”
Steve, 64, of Onehouse, dialled 999 and was attempting to give CPR, as instructed by the emergency call handler, when a car ‘screeched to a halt and Christopher jumped out’.
“Within 30 seconds he had him breathing again - it’s like seeing your children born again,” said Steve, who now considers Christopher ‘one of the family’.
Christopher, of Moreton Hall, who had received first aid training from St John Ambulance, said: “I thought he was pumping up his tyre but as I got closer I realised he was trying to pump the chest of another man, so I swung my car into the lay-by and went running over.
“He said ‘I don’t know what I’m doing,’ I said ‘it’s alright, I do. I dragged James on to the road and started to pump his chest and breath for him.”
James’ heart stopped four more times in the lay-by and another three times after being flown to hospital. He was in an induced coma for about six weeks and, owing to complications, did not return home until 10 days before Christmas.
The incident affected Christopher in such a profound way that he decided then and there to pursue his dream of becoming a paramedic.
He completed a health course at college and took an additional driving test to improve his chances of being selected - and it worked.
On Monday he started his training and today he is due to be awarded the Chief Ambulance Officer Commendation by Anthony Marsh, the CEO of the East of England Ambulance Service who just so happens to be his new boss.
Steve, who is ‘over the moon’ for Christopher, said: “But for him pulling up that day we wouldn’t be where we are now. We’re eternally grateful. He’s a cracking lad and he deserves all he’s got coming.”