Mountain rescuer who suffered 15 cardiac arrests in one hour reunited with paramedics who saved his life
A mountain rescuer who went into cardiac arrest just hours after rescuing a hiker with a broken ankle will be reunited with the paramedics who saved his life 15 times in less than an hour.
Chris Haywood, 58, from Sparrowpit near Buxton, began experiencing chest pains while driving home from a rescue mission at Chapel-en-le-Frith on January 2.
He mistakenly thought his pains were indigestion, but 10 minutes after his wife had taken their 11-year-old Border Collie Betty-Boo for a walk, Chris realised he was having a heart attack.
The woodwork lecturer at Buxton and Leek College and volunteer mountain rescuer for 10 years, was able to ring 999 and paramedic Steve Harrison arrived in a Fast Response Vehicle within minutes to begin advanced life support.
Chris said: “The chest pain spread into my arms and jaw, I was sweating a lot, and I knew I was having a heart attack so I called 999. I didn’t know if it was a full-blown heart attack but I knew something was very wrong.”
Dawn, 58, Chris’s wife of 36 years returned to their house to find Chris on the phone to the 999 control room and when Steve arrived he requested emergency back-up.
Ambulance crew Jack Sutherland and Ellie Parsons were ten hours into a 12-hour shift when they were called by control asking them to help. They drove straight to Sparrowpit and took Chris to Wythenshawe General Hospital in Manchester where he had three stents put into the arteries in his heart.
Twenty minutes into the journey, Chris admitted that he felt dizzy and went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully the paramedics were able to use their defibrillator to shock his heart back into rhythm.
Chris said: “I remember waking up and thinking it was a film or an episode of Casualty, with the bright lights above me and someone saying ‘Chris, you’ve had a heart attack’.”
But in the next hour, Chris went into cardiac arrest a total of 15 times, including six times in the back of the ambulance and once in the lift at Wythenshawe Hospital.
Paramedic Jack, 27, from Millers Dale said: “Chris even had one in the lift and we managed to get his heart going again before the lift stopped and opened the doors.”
“I have been a paramedic for seven years and this is only the second case where we have shocked a patient and they have walked out of the hospital.”
Paramedic Steve said: “In the 34 years in this job, Chris holds the record for the greatest number of shocks I’ve ever given to a patient.
“I’m so pleased to see Chris back on his feet and looking so well.”
Chris was in hospital for one-and-a-half weeks, but is now on the road to recovery and is walking three miles several times a week to build his strength up again.
He said that that it was a pleasure to meet the paramedics who gave him a second chance at life.
He said: “I now have two birthdays, the second one is the day when they gave me my life back.
“I will never be 100% ever again due to the damage done to my heart, but I have a second chance at life.”