Heart man thanks the 999 ‘heroes’ who saved his life
firstname.lastname@example.org A Kennington man has thanked the medical team who saved his life.
Lorry driver Barry Keeler, 59, was working on his father-inlaw’s car outside his home on Sunday, September 8, last year when he collapsed and his heart stopped.
His wife Debbie called 999 and within minutes a crew from South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) arrived and set about saving his life.
Mrs Keeler said: “The doctors called him a ‘medical miracle’ as they were so impressed with Barry’s recovery, given the amount of time needed to resuscitate him and, after coming out of the coma, that he showed no signs of any brain damage whatsoever.”
The first crew to arrive were critical care paramedic Chris Fudge and emergency care support worker Gaylene Doherty, who started CPR – closely followed by colleagues, paramedic Chris Page and technician Keith Layton.
Chris Fudge said: “We had a Lucas device on the ambulance – equipment that provides chest compressions to patients in cardiac arrest instead of human hands doing the work. Using this device on Barry ensured that he continued to receive chest compressions, leaving the clinicians free to carry out further tests and treatment.
“Importantly, with a Lucas device we can continue effective chest compressions while en route to hospital.”
Mr Keeler’s heart was also shocked with a defibrillator to establish a normal heart rhythm and after 45 minutes he was taken to the William Harvey Hospital, where he spent two weeks.
He is now well enough to work again part-time, although he is expected to have an internal defibrillator fitted.
He said: “The ambulance staff have given me my life back and my outlook for the future is very good.
“I have adopted a healthier lifestyle and both Debbie and I have stopped smoking.”
The couple personally thanked the paramedics who saved Mr Keeler’s life when they met up with them.
Mrs Keeler added: “They may think they are just doing a job but to us they are heroes. My family could have been without a dad and granddad if it wasn’t for their persistence in working so hard to bring Barry back.
“They just didn’t want to give up on him.”
Chris Fudge added: “It was really fantastic to meet the Keelers again. The whole team wishes them all the very best for the future.”
Patient Barry Keeler and wife Debbie with his life savers, from left, emergency care support worker Gaylene Doherty, paramedic Chris Page and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge