Gordon Wagstaff was booked in for a private Pacemaker operation, but instead ended up having emergency surgery after a dramatic rescue from his own home.
The day before his operation was due, he collapsed at the bed and breakfast he and his wife Wanda run in Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds, and needed the help of a specialist team of paramedics and two fire crews to get to hospital.
He remembers nothing until he woke up in Papworth Hospital, but last week he had the chance to thank the paramedics who saved his life.
He said: “It was very nice to be able to thank them for what they did because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”
When he collapsed in April, paramedic Dale Boustead arrived in under two minutes, then ambulance crew Neil Stead and Roger Stearne and duty locality officer Paul Goodchild came in minutes.
But having restarted his heart, they had to get Gordon down his home’s steep stairs, so they called Edward Watt, Thomas Jones and Stephen Cole from the ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team, who are trained for heights.
Gordon was stretchered through a first floor window to a Suffolk Fire Service aerial platform and lowered to the ground.
The couple were have given £500 to support volunteer community first responders.