Footie fan’s heart attack miracle

A ‘miracle man’ football fan from Bulwell who was unresponsive for ten minutes after suffering a heart attack just before a match has been reunited with the EMAS ambulance crews who saved his life.

Ian Taylor, 52, 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.

This week on Tuesday 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 and also from Bulwell, was stood next to Ian when he collapsed and said he thought he was dead.

Alan 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 ten minutes the paramedics finally managed to shock his heart back into rhythm and he was taken to Royal Derby Hospital.