Tom’s Story

Tom is 83 years of age and lives in Bracknell, Berkshire, close to Ascot racecourse. He’s married with 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. When Tom needed emergency treatment, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was ready to respond. Below he tells his story.

My son in law’s local cricket team had arranged a match with a team from Ventnor, Isle of Wight, and my daughter decided it would be nice for us to go with them for the weekend. I had never visited the island before and was delighted at the idea of a family weekend away. We drove to Southampton and caught the ferry that Friday lunch time.

On our arrival we drove to Ventnor and arrived at a charming cottage- our home for the weekend. We spent the afternoon settling in, and in the evening decided to eat out at a sea-front restaurant that had been recommended to us. We had a lovely meal, but about half an hour later I started getting chest pains that I quickly dismissed as indigestion.

We returned to the cottage where I took a tablet to relieve the pain. However, I was unable to sleep, and at first light my wife informed my daughter of the situation, and she immediately called for an ambulance. After a few initial check-ups, we were on our way to St. Mary’s Hospital. My daughter travelled with me in the ambulance, where I received something for the pain. My wife and son in law followed behind by car.
On arrival at St. Marys I was soon transferred to a large ward where I received more thorough checks and tests before they decided I should be treated at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA) in Portsmouth and would need to travel by Air Ambulance.

I was transferred to an outer ward where the doctors explained the procedure. The Critical Care Team arrived within 15 minutes, and after preparing me like a Christmas turkey for the flight, I was wheeled up to the roof of the hospital.

I was informed of the noise and coldness that I would experience in flight and then placed in the aircraft for departure, with the team communicating with me throughout the whole of my journey. The doctor, paramedic and pilot were all excellent.

We arrived on the roof of QA within about 15 minutes and I was soon transferred to the Cardiac Ward by your caring crew, where I was then assessed by various doctors who informed me that I’d had a heart attack. I remained in hospital for 3 days, and after an angiogram, was allowed to go home with a large bag of tablets in tow, and a referral to my local hospital in Frimley.

I am now on an 8-week Cardiac Disease Risk Management Programme, which is going well. I can not thank HIOWAA’s Critical Care Team enough for the efficient and caring service they provided in my time of need.