Derbyshire dad alive to walk daughter down the aisle thanks to ambulance crew

Derbyshire dad alive to walk daughter down the aisle thanks to ambulance crew

IMG_8626.JPG

A Chesterfield dad who suffered a cardiac arrest will be able to walk his daughter down the aisle thanks to the ambulance crew who saved his life.

Leonard Lichtveld, 70, who lives in Ashgate with his daughter Tina and future son-in-law Tom, suffered a cardiac arrest at home on the morning of 3 January.

Thanks to the quick response and life-saving treatment from the EMAS ambulance crew, Leonard will be able to walk his daughter Tina and her fiancé Tom down the aisle at their wedding on 21 April.

Today, Leonard was reunited with the team who worked to save his life - 999 call handler Brodie Bancroft and ambulance crews James Illing, James Farndon, Rebecca Stokes and Ross Wormall.

Leonard explained that he hadn’t felt well just before he collapsed at 9am on 3 January.

He said: “I said to Tom ‘I think I’m going to kick the bucket’ and then I just dropped.”

Tom, 31, a paramedic for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), couldn’t find a pulse on Leonard and so immediately began CPR, rang 999 and spoke to our 999 call handler on speakerphone. 

Tina and Tom’s children Lily, 5, and George, 2, were in the room at the time of their grandfather’s collapse.

Lily bravely followed her dad’s instructions to find the front door keys and unlock it – something she has never done before – so that Tom could continue with CPR.

Today, Lily and George were presented with Laverick bravery awards for helping to save the life of their grandfather.

Tina, also a paramedic for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), explained that although Tom had begun CPR on Leonard when he collapsed, he needed the EMAS crew and defibrillator to revive his father-in-law.

Leonard received three shocks with the defibrillator before his heart restarted and he began breathing again.

He said: “I remember being taken to the ambulance, but I wasn’t frightened because I knew I was in good hands.

“I am so grateful to everyone who helped me.”

She said: “We are so overwhelmed and so grateful to the 999 call handler and two ambulance crews. They arrived so quickly.

“Our wedding day is going to be extra special now. If it wasn’t for the ambulance crew we would be planning a funeral instead.”