2 August 2018 - Everybody needs good neighbours

Robert Marsden reunionReturning from a walk with the dog turned into a nightmare for Robert Marsden, 43 from Freckleton and his wife Rachel when Robert suddenly collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest just eight weeks ago.

Luckily, Rachel lived just down the road from Geoff Hamriding, Paramedic for North West Ambulance Service, and quickly ran to call him for help.

Geoff sprung into action and began CPR immediately whilst Rachel dialled 999 where she was directed by Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Frank Cerra, to a nearby public access defibrillator.

Thankfully after four shocks from the defibrillator and ongoing CPR, Robert began breathing again and was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was given a stent procedure and allowed home just three days later.

Speaking about the incident Rachel said: “I didn’t know Geoff that well but we said hello in passing and I knew that he worked for the ambulance service.

“I shot over as quickly as I could and banged on his door so hard to get him to come as soon as possible.

“It was an extremely frightening situation but Robert and I are so thankful to Geoff and the team at NWAS for saving Robert’s life. The work that they do is truly fantastic.”

Robert and his wife Rachel was able to reunite with Geoff and call handler, Frank, this week at Lytham Ambulance Station where they thanked the team for their actions.

Paramedic, Geoff Hamriding, said: “I was shocked when Rachel banged on my door, it was really lucky because I had just got home from being out but I didn’t hesitate to rush to help.

“Early CPR and defibrillation is vital in these circumstances as every single second counts in saving a life!”

Robert and Rachel live just a stone’s throw away from the nearest public access defibrillator and by dialling 999 they were able to get the access code and information from the call handler.

Frank Cerra, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, said: “Rachel was so calm and collected on the phone, it’s an extremely traumatic experience for anybody to go through but by staying calm and listening to my instructions we were able to quickly get the defibrillator and give Robert the best possible chance.

“As a call handler, it’s very rare for us to get the chance to meet our patients and it’s amazing to be able to see Robert so fit and well.”

Public access defibrillators are funded by generous donations from members of the community and are often housed in a secure cabinet in an easily accessible place that can be opened by using a code given to the caller by the 999 call hander.

Mark Lewis, Operations Manager for Fylde, said: “It’s so important that members of the public know what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest, we will always get there as quickly as we can but even the minutes that we’re on the way can cost vital time.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic outcome for Robert, and we thank him for allowing us to share his story and show people that early CPR and defibrillation really does save lives.”

More information about CPR and defibrillators can be found at www.cardiacsmart.nwas.nhs.uk.