Stan Charman with paramedic Paula Treadwell and student paramedic Dan Peake

Golfer thanks ambulance crew for saving his life

Stan's now on the road to recovery following massive heart attack

A grandfather who suffered a heart attack whilst playing golf has thanked the ambulance crew for helping to save his life.

Avid golfer and musician Stan was playing golf at Wallsend Golf Club when he started suffering from chest pains out on the course. Stan decided to head home and rang his wife Mary, a former axillary nurse, about his symptoms who then advised him to go straight to Battle Hill Walk in Centre.

Upon arrival, Stan collapsed and the quick thinking staff called 999. Student paramedic Dan Peake, along with experienced paramedic Paula Treadwell, arrived to find that Stan had suffered a large heart attack.

Stan and Mary were so thankful for the way Dan and Paula treated them that they have now met back up with them to thank them in person.

Stan said, “I was playing golf in Tynemouth and had got to the third hole, which had a slight incline and as I was going up it, I started to get chest pains.

“I told the lads I was going to head off and on the way home I rang my wife, who told me to go straight to the walk in centre.

“When I got there I told them I thought I needed an ambulance and went through to a doctor where I passed out.”

Stan, who will celebrate his 69th birthday in September, said, “The crew were really professional and made me feel safe. They really put me at ease and looked after my wife; I just thought they should not go unrewarded.”

Stan said, “Dan was looking after me in the back of the ambulance on the way to hospital, treating and talking to me all the way.

Being a fit and active man for most of his life, Stan was shocked to believe his symptoms prior to the heart attack was a build up to it happening, “I have been fit all my life; a week or two before this happened I had been busy around the garden and did get chest pain, but just put it down to pulling a muscle; I didn’t think anything of it.”

Upon arrival at the walk in centre, Paula gave Dan the lead to treat Stan to build upon his experience in his first year as a paramedic.

Dan, who is about to enter into his second year training at Sunderland University, said, “Paula let me take the lead under her supervision as she said it was good experience for me.

“Stan was unconscious when we arrived but was breathing. He came around just after we got there and we set up the ECG (electrocardiography) machine to check Stan’s heart rhythm; you could see immediately that he was having a massive myocardial infarction (MI).

“Once we had done the ECG, I phoned the Freeman Hospital to let them know we were coming and to make sure we were ok to make our way in. We then got Stan onto a stretcher, gave him some initial treatment to relieve his chest pain and Paula cannulated him.”

Paula, who joined NEAS just over three years ago, added, “Stan had a clot in his artery at the top of his heart, meaning it was time critical for him to get to hospital for it to be cleared. The guys at the Freeman did the main job, it was just a matter of getting Stan there quickly and managing his condition on the way there.

“Once we had handed Stan over at the hospital, we then went back to update Mary and the rest of Stan’s family who had arrived. An emergency is a big thing for patients and their families to go through and can be quite a frightening experience for them, so it is up to us to try and put them at ease and try and take some of that fear away for them.”

After spending three days in hospital, Stan is now recovering from the heart attack but could not go on without showing his appreciation to the people that saved his life.

“I am now back to playing golf and have stopped working, which means I have got more time to play and can concentrate on my music,” he said.

“I have also stopped smoking, which was really hard to do, but every time I feel like a cigarette, I remember what it was like to have been through what I did. It was definitely a wakeup call.

“I was terrified at the time of the heart attack but Paula and Dan were very professional and reassuring while transporting me to the Freeman Hospital. I feel if it was not for Paula and Dan, I would have died. A few days after I got home I thought it is not right to let time pass without getting the chance to say thank you to the crew.

“I am very thankful to the NHS.”

Paula commented, “Nine out of 10 times we don’t get to know the outcome for a patient which is a bit of a shame, so it is really nice to see Stan again and to see he has made a full recovery. It is lovely to know you have made a difference.”

Dan continued, “We were over the moon when we got the thank you letter. You do not do this job for a thank you but it is nice when you get one.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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