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Tunbridge Wells 'Miracle man' and family thank crews who dragged him back from the brink of death

A heart attack victim has been dubbed a "miracle man" after paramedics brought him back from the brink of death with 18 electric shocks in the back of an ambulance.

When Peter Collins was taken into an ambulance outside his home in Langton Green on Friday November 19, his partner Christine and daughters Marie Eldridge and Jody Collins were told to prepare for the worst.

Peter Collins has thanked medical staff who helped him battle back from the brink of death following a heart attack
Peter Collins has thanked medical staff who helped him battle back from the brink of death following a heart attack

But now Marie, who rushed down from her home in Dartford that night not knowing if her dad would be alive when she arrived, has reached out to thank medical staff who battled against the odds to save him.

"He was shocked in the ambulance 18 times," said Marie, an NHS manager from Cobham Close. "I wouldn't have believed it if the senior paramadeic Stuart hadn't told me himself.

"He went in and started working on my dad then he came out and said to myself and my sister - he had to be straight with us and that he didn't know if my dad would make the journey to the hospital.

"They decided he needed a 'blood bleach' -it's called thrombolysis - it was a case of giving that and hoping it clears the blockage. It was administered in the ambulance and then he went to William Harvey.

"All the medical teams and his GP are just astounded he's still alive. We were prepared that we were about to lose him. They said never in their professional careers had they known someone to be shocked so many times."

William Harvey Hospital
William Harvey Hospital

After being taken into intensive care at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Mr Collins was taken to the coronary care unit where he had a stent fitted, and was allowed home a week later - although he will need ongoing treatment and check ups on the road to recovery.

An NHS manager herself, Marie said it was important to note the good work of paramedics and medical staff at all stages of the emergency.

Mr Collins, 58, also spoke out to thank crews and is hoping to meet all those that helped him to thank them in person.

"I thought I had got a pain in my shoulder and I woke up," he said, recalling the night of the incident. "I went downstairs to make a drink, but it started getting worse.

"We rang 111 and cleverly the other half gave me some aspirin. After that I remember the pain getting worse. I remember the first ambulance getting here and they did an ECG.

Stock image: ambulance
Stock image: ambulance

"I was going in and out of conciousness and then I remember them suddenly running around. They managed to get the ambulance bed into my living room - I couldn't believe they got it through the door.

"I managed to get onto that but that was the last thing I remember until I came round in the ambulance."

"I felt one of the electric shocks. My god, that hits you right in the centre of the chest. I didn't realise how long this had all taken, they working on me outside my house for two hours and I was completely unconscious."

The team then administered the 'blood bleach' explaining the process could kill him, but that he could well die without it.

"It worked and they got me to Ashford," recalled Mr Collins. "I woke up and they couldn't believe it - they were really lovely people at Ashford. It was lovely to meet them all.

"I had a shower before and I was shattered, so it has taken its toll, but I don't care - I'm here"- Mr Collins

"To me, at this moment in time I know it's happened but it doesn't seem real to know I was that close to death. I'm up and about, so it seems strange, although I can't do too much.

An operations director at Avantee Logistics in Tunbridge Wells, Mr Collins has since been back to have a coffee with his work colleagues, and is looking forward to spending time relaxing with his family.

"I'm so grateful," he added. "You hear these things - sometimes there's not an ambulance available for hours, but I was told there were four ambulances outside my house and a critical care team, and eight of them worked on me for two hours.

"It's amazing. What they did was amazing - years ago it wouldn't have happened. I'm alive and at home here - I hope it's a pick me up for the ambulance crews. I want to meet all of them.

"I didn't realise you could be jump started that many times.

"The service I got was absolutely brilliant - we're all quick enough to jump if they do something wrong but they got it right in a big way at every stage - ambulance, resus, intensive care and coronary care."

And he recalled how hospital staff had also seemed amazed at his recovery.

"One of them gave me a kiss" he said. "I said 'what's that for?' and she said 'it's for being here'. They didn't know whether I would make it."

The ambulance service confirmed they were making arrangements for Mr Collis to meet up with crew members.

Paramedic practitioner and operational team leader, Leanne Adams, was among the attending ambulance team.

She said: “On behalf of the whole team who attended, it was lovely to hear from Peter and great to hear how well he is doing. "The first crew to arrive on scene did a great job with support from the back up crew, myself and one of our critical care paramedics.

"It was really good team work and such a amazing outcome given the number of shocks he required to restart his heart.

"I’m very proud of everyone and, of course, we wish Peter and his family all the best and a very Happy Christmas!”

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