Father has a lucky break

Father has a lucky break

Scunthorpe Tony Chapman.jpg

A father from Barton-Upon-Humber has been reunited with the ambulance crew and Dr who saved his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest at home, following a game of snooker at his local club.  

Tony Chapman, 67, was out playing snooker at the Corn Exchange, Barton with his son, Alvin, when he began to feel unwell. With no history of heart problems he didn’t think he was having a heart attack. 

Tony told Alvin he didn’t feel well and ordered a taxi home. At 10.30pm he walked into his home to wife Ellen and lay down on the sofa. Alvin, who had completed his first aid at work certificate, recognised the symptoms of a heart attack and called 999. 

Moments later Tony became unconscious and stopped breathing.  Wife Ellen made a frantic second 999 call.  999 call handler Dominie Kane provided Alvin with advice on how to perform chest compressions on his father. Alvin started CPR and continued the compressions until help arrived. 

Minutes later Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Services (LIVES) Doctor Mark Clayton was on scene and able to provide vital defibrillation to Tony. He was followed by Paramedic Mike Watkinson and ambulance crew Nicola Jenson and George Gregory. 

Mark said: “When I arrived Tony was on the living room floor and Alvin was performing CPR. I confirmed that Tony was in cardiac arrest and started to shock him.”

After shocking Tony and stabilising him they transported him to Hull Royal Infirmary Hospital. As staff handed Tony over to the hospital staff, he was sat up and talking. 

Unfortunately Tony went into cardiac arrest again. Whilst in hospital, Tony was shocked a further 11 times. He was transferred to Castle Hill Hospital for a stent to be fitted. 

Tony said he remembers coming home, laying on the sofa and drifting off. He added:

“I was unable to talk to the 999 operator, the pains in my arms and chest was too severe. I then started to drift off. I remember what happened on the Friday and the next thing I remember is waking up on Sunday in hospital.”

Son, Alvin Chapman, said he owes saving his dads life to the first aid at work course he did and the 999 call taker. Alvin completed his training through his employer Bluefin Group, an insurance firm based in Grimsby, where he was the designated first aider.

Tony would not be here today with his family without Alvin’s actions. Early recognition, CPR and defibrillation are key links in the chain of survival.

Dr Mark Clayton said: “I am able to provide three links in the chain of survival, however my actions don’t mean anything without the first two links. Alvin’s 999 call and CPR saved his father’s life.”

Tony’s story and Alvin’s actions are now being shared through St John Ambulance to inspire people to learn how to save a life.

Tony, wife Ellen and son Alvin have today been able to say thank you to Dr Mark Clayton, Paramedic Mike Watkinson and ambulance crew; Paramedic George Gregory and Emergency Care Assistant Nicola Jenson at Scunthorpe Ambulance Station.

Tony said: “I feel so privileged to be able to say thank you and for the fact that I am here. I had plans to retire and I have now been given the chance to continue the plans.”

Paramedic Mark said: “It is nice to feel appreciated and know that the actions we take have an impact on people’s lives.”