Published: 16:00, 12 November 2021
| Updated: 16:24, 12 November 2021
A man in cardiac arrest watched on as paramedics gave him chest compressions in a "unique" case of CPR.
An ambulance crew rushed to Mike Fergus's home in Barham, near Canterbury, when his wife called 999 as he was suffering from chest pain.
Paramedic Gaylene Doherty and Trainee Associate Ambulance Practitioner Clare Sykes arrived at the scene and carried out checks on his heart, before taking Mike to their awaiting ambulance.
But once inside the vehicle, the 54-year-old went into cardiac arrest.
The ambulance team immediately began resuscitation and called for back-up.
They delivered Mike six shocks with their defibrillator, with a further shock administered as more paramedics arrived on scene.
But unusually, Mike was awake during the ordeal.
"Quite simply, without them, I wouldn’t be here..."
“It was a very unique resuscitation”, said Gaylene. "Because we were treating him straight away Mike was actually conscious while we were carrying out chest compressions and doing the work his heart should have been.
"But then, as we checked his rhythm, he would collapse again.
"It was all very sudden. We knew Mike very likely needed specialist hospital treatment but everything escalated when he went into cardiac arrest."
After being resuscitated Mike was rushed to William Harvey Hospital, where he underwent emergency treatment to have a blockage in a main artery cleared before being fitted with a stent.
Mike is now warning others not to ignore the signs of a potential heart problem.
He had experienced chest pain for some four weeks before it eventually worsened significantly on October 6 last year, prompting his wife, Helena, to call the emergency services.
Mike recalled: “I had been experiencing some discomfort for a few weeks but it suddenly got a lot worse and felt as though someone was tightening a belt around my chest.
"I had been at work and arrived home not feeling great at all and said to Helena that I thought I should call 111 – but things suddenly got a lot worse and I said ‘I think you’re going to have to call 999’."
Mike has now visited the ambulance service's Make Ready Centre in Ashford, where he thanked the paramedics who saved his life.
“I’m just so grateful for everything everyone in the ambulance and hospital teams did for me," he said.
"Quite simply, without them, I wouldn’t be here.
"It’s been amazing to see everyone in person and to thank them for doing such an amazing job.
“My subsequent treatment and rehab has gone really well and I feel like a new man, but I would strongly urge people not to ignore the signs of a problem and to get themselves checked out if they have any discomfort or concerns like me.”
Critical Care Paramedic Luke Hamilton says the team "should be really proud" of their work.
“Right from the start, everyone did a great job to ensure Mike received the treatment he needed," he said.
"The whole team should be really proud. It was lovely to meet Mike in better circumstances and speak to him about what happened. On behalf of the whole team I wish him all the very best for the future.”