A ‘miracle man’ whose heart was shocked 17 times to keep him alive after he went into cardiac arrest met the hero medics who saved his life.
When Yvonne Ainsworth found her partner, Patrick Ewing, collapsed at home she feared the worst.
After calling 999 she realised he had gone into cardiac arrest and followed the call handler’s instructions to perform compressions to try and keep him alive.
Yvonne, from Ashwell, had learnt CPR when a defibrillator was installed in their village a few years ago and was able to put into practice what she had learnt to give Patrick the best chance of survival.
She said: “While I knew I needed to pump his chest I was terrified by what was happening. The 999 call handler (Joshua Selwood) was so calm and gave me clear instructions helping me stay in rhythm while reassuring me I was doing the right thing. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Ambulance crews raced to the emergency and took over CPR from Yvonne. They worked on Patrick for over 50 minutes, using a defibrillator to shock his heart 17 times.
Paramedic Daniel Sneath, who was first on scene, said: “Patrick was clearly a fighter. This was a real team effort and everyone worked hard to keep him alive.
“As we were working on him he continued to show signs that his heart had started but then it would stop again. We kept going until we could stabilise him and he was then flown to Glenfield Hospital.
“By performing CPR as soon as she saw him collapse Yvonne gave Patrick the best chance. Her bravery should be commended for remaining calm in such a scary situation.”
On Wednesday Yvonne and Patrick met the ‘heroes’ who saved his life last September.
Patrick said: “What they did might have just been part of their day job but they worked so hard to keep me going. I’ll be forever grateful.”
Yvonne added: “It’s down to the call handler and paramedics that my Patrick is alive. Some of them had just finished a 12-hour shift but were still willing to stay with us, working on Patrick for over an hour during our moment of need.
“I was honoured to meet the people kept Patrick alive. I just wanted to say thank you.”
Patrick spent seven weeks in three of Leicester’s hospitals before he was able to return home. He still has difficulty remembering things but said his memory was coming back and he now feels ‘fighting fit’.
He added: “I proposed to Yvonne on Christmas Day and we’re getting married on June 10. Instead of asking for presents we want people to make donations to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance which only took eight minutes to get me from Ashwell to Glenfield.”
The defibrillator which helped teach Yvonne her live-saving CPR skills was installed in the village in 2013.
Located inside a red phone box, the device was paid for by BT and supplied by the Community Heartbeat Trust.
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the defibrillator is locked inside a cabinet which can be opened during an emergency with a combination code available by calling 999.
The machine provides spoken step-by-step instructions, analysing the victim to determine if they are suffering from a heart attack and delivering a powerful, but controlled electric shock to restore normal heartbeat if required.