Miracle man reunited with paramedics who saved his life after suffering cardiac arrest
A ‘miracle man’ football fan who was unresponsive for 10 minutes after suffering a cardiac arrest just before a match has been reunited with the EMAS ambulance crews who saved his life.
Ian Taylor, 52, from Bulwell, was waiting for Matlock Town FC to take on Workington AFC on Saturday, January 21, and was queuing at the snack counter for a cup of Bovril when he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest.
Yesterday, Tuesday, February 14, Ian was reunited with EMAS paramedics Martin Coleman and Simon Warren, and technician Meryl Gabbitas who saved his life on that fateful day.
Ian, a lift engineer based in Nottingham, said that he was overwhelmed meeting the paramedics and could not thank them enough for giving him a second chance.
He said: “It's hard to find the words to say thank you when someone has saved your life. Thank you doesn’t really cover it.
“I can't believe how lucky I was - I think all my luck all came in at once. It is a miracle that I survived. The paramedics were fantastic and the football club have been great too.”
In a cardiac arrest, seconds count as the sooner the patient receives CPR and shocks to the heart from a defibrillator, the better the patient’s chance of survival. Only eight per cent of people who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital survive.
Luckily, Ian collapsed next to the first aid room behind an off-duty doctor and a retired midwife, who were able to begin CPR immediately, and volunteers from Matlock Town Football Club also helped with the chest compressions.
Before the defibrillator at the club could be used, Martin arrived in an EMAS Fast Response Vehicle within 90 seconds and was able to use his defibrillator, and an ambulance crew arrived four minutes after the 999 call was made.
The air ambulance also attended the incident and landed on the pitch, but Ian was taken to hospital by land ambulance.
Ian’s brother, Alan Taylor, 61, a cab driver from Bulwell, was stood next to Ian when he collapsed and said he thought he was dead.
He said: “I thought he was gone. They defibrillated him seven times in 11 minutes and he was going blue. It was like a film and surreal. I didn’t know what to do, and at that point I was elbowed out the way by people who did.”
Hedley Ashman, 72, from Matlock, was the first volunteer from the club to help with CPR.
He said: “I couldn’t find a pulse so I knew I just had to do as much as I could until the ambulance arrived. You never expect to use your training like that.”
After 10 minutes the paramedics finally managed to shock his heart back into rhythm and he was taken to Royal Derby Hospital.
Martin Coleman, 37, EMAS team leader for Matlock, Alfreton and Ripley, explained just how fortunate Ian was.
He said: “We were only at Matlock Ambulance Station round the corner, but I was just leaving and the crew had just gone on their break when the call came in.
“To have people there to do CPR is vital, no matter how close we are to a patient as it improves the patient’s chance of survival.
“I have never seen someone that poorly come back after such a long time without a pulse.
“It is great to see Ian up and about and looking so well.
Ian had a triple bypass a year ago and has now had a pacemaker fitted, but is due to make a full recovery and will be returning to the football club on Saturday for his first match since his cardiac arrest.