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Bury crane operator thanks ‘guardian angels’ ambulance staff for helping to save his life

Paul Thornton (centre) with Ben Southam, Luke Chamberlain, Page Wilson and Alan Robertson ANL-160808-125636001
Paul Thornton (centre) with Ben Southam, Luke Chamberlain, Page Wilson and Alan Robertson ANL-160808-125636001

A Bury St Edmunds man has thanked ambulance staff - hailed as ‘his guardian angels’ - and his quick thinking partner who helped save his life after his heart stopped.

Paul Thornton, 49, collapsed at his home on June 12 after walking his dog and went into cardiac arrest.

His partner Roz Dobbyn, who is a care home worker, immediately performed CPR and following the swift arrival of ambulance crews, they restarted his heart.

Mr Thornton, a crane operator, has now thanked the four East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) staff who helped save his life.

He said: “Words cannot express what they mean to me - they are my guardian angels.

“If it was not for them and Roz, I would not be here today.”

Within two minutes of the 999 call, Luke Chamberlain and Page Wilson were on scene followed by Alan Robertson and Benjamin Southam in another ambulance and the Essex Air Ambulance.

Following CPR and four defibrillator shocks, they resuscitated Paul who was sitting up in the ambulance by the time they left for Papworth Hospital to repair a blocked artery with a stent.

He was discharged from hospital three days later with a couple of broken ribs.

Paul said: “It is the best pain I have ever had.

“The fact I’m here to feel pain is an absolute blessing.

“All I can remember is the ambulance doors closing and then being in the hospital.

“The consultants and the nurses were brilliant, but it is the ambulance staff who deserve all the thanks because the hospital staff would not have a job if it wasn’t for them.”

Roz was trained to perform CPR as part of her work and was praised by the EEAST staff for her actions.

Luke, an education and training officer for the trust, said: “It was the perfect chain of survival.

“Paul’s heart was not working, but Roz was doing such effective CPR and getting oxygen to his brain that he was fighting us off whilst we were treating him.

“I have never seen that before.”

The trust is getting involved in Restart a Heart Day to teach school children CPR on October 18.

Schools wishing to get involved are being urged to contact the trust’s community collaboration manager Wendy Risdale-Barrs by emailing wendy-jean.risdale@eastamb.nhs.uk


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