Robin is a retired company Director who lives with his wife in Wootton, on the Isle of Wight. With a great love and interest in music, Robin runs the Phoenix Choir. On 30th June 2012, Robin and his choir were preparing for a concert at St Saviour’s Church, Shanklin, in aid of a local charity. The week before the concert, Robin had been feeling unwell. All of a sudden, he collapsed. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Critical Care Team were called in to provide urgent assistance. Below he recalls his story.
My blood pressure was sky-high, so my doctor prescribed some medication to lower it. I was at home on that particular day and began to feel worse, fainting twice. My wife was out tending to her elderly father, so I contacted NHS 111. Within minutes an ambulance arrived at my home, closely followed by a second one. I had suffered a heart attack. A decision was made to transport me to Portsmouth. I had to leave my wife, Gillian, who had since returned home, in somewhat of a state of shock. I remember suggesting that she contacted a friend.
The Air Ambulance was scrambled. The police cleared a landing space in Wootton Recreation Ground, and it seemed like no time at all before the Air Ambulance landed.
I was fully alert while being stretchered onto the helicopter, where some of the Critical Care Team carried out tests as we were flying over the Solent to the Queen Alexandra (QA) Hospital in Portsmouth. The crew on board kept talking and reassuring me, making me as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let me look out of the window!
When we landed on the helipad at QA, I was rushed into a ward. They administered a local anaesthetic and, within the hour, inserted a stent and performed an operation to remove the blood clot.
Within two days I was back home recuperating in Wootton, and over the next few weeks life slowly returned to normal. The whole procedure was so efficiently co-ordinated; I couldn’t have asked for better treatment.
My understanding is that if a heart attack can be treated quickly, there is less harm of any lasting damage. With the help of all the emergency services, but in particular the Air Ambulance, the speed in which they responded and took me to a specialist hospital unit undoubtedly meant that I was able to make a full recovery. Without this service I feel that my welfare may have been affected in a very negative way. HIOWAA should be fully supported to ensure continuity of the excellent, life-saving, service that they provide.