‘I’m here because of them’ - hero paramedics thanked by patients

Tony Burroughs with the paramedics who saved his life
Tony Burroughs with the paramedics who saved his life

Two men came face to face with the paramedics who saved their lives at an event held by South East Coast Ambulance Service last month.

Among the patients invited to SECAmb’s annual ‘Our Survivors’ event were Adrian Dance from Partridge Green and Tony Burroughs of Billingshurst.

Sharing his story with the County Times, Tony, 55, said he was ‘emotional’ when given the chance to meet the team of paramedics that rushed to Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre after Tony suffered a heart attack last year.

He said: “I ended up meeting some of the crew, and doing what I could to say thank you. It was a small thing I did for what they did for me.

“I was a bit emotional. They just say ‘we were doing our job’, but thank you just seems not enough - they are heroes.

“It makes you feel humble. I am here and I wouldn’t have been, I’m here because of them.”

On Sunday November 24, Tony began to feel unwell at the leisure centre, initially believing the cause to be indigestion or heartburn.

The condition quickly progressed to a ‘bad crushing pain’ in his chest, and Tony realised that ‘two Rennies aren’t going to help’.

His wife Mary cared for Tony until paramedic Duncan Jones, and later a team of ambulance workers, took charge.

Tony remembers little of the events after Duncan arrived at the scene and used a defibrillator to resuscitate him.

He said: “I held on until Duncan turned up, he gave me the first shock which got me going.

“I ended up being treated in the ambulance and rushed to Brighton for a week’s stay in hospital.”

As well as Duncan and the team of David Lashwood, Mark Durell, Mark Young, Sarah Sidaway and Joseph Radoux, Tony was able to meet other patients at the ‘Our Survivors’ event.

He added: “I thought being jump started twice was enough, but some were six or seven times, and one guy didn’t come around for two days.”

Adrian, 48, suffered a heart attack at his home just days after Christmas, but like Tony has gone on to make a full recovery.

‘Our Survivors’ took place at Kent’s Hever Castle on Sunday September 21.

A short film telling each patient’s story was produced and has been uploaded to youtube. It can be found by searching for ‘Our Survivors 2014’ or by using the following link: http://youtu.be/uc4uhzRcnt0