Cardiac arrest survivor meets staff who helped save his life

(L-R) Paramedic Matt Harrison, Chris Rowley, Valda Rowley, Technician Ryan Slater, Nick Lovell. Credit: WMAS

Two West Midlands Ambulance Service staff were thanked last Wednesday when they were reunited with a patient who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

70-year-old Chris Rowley from Stoke, was undertaking his regular gym workout when the incident occurred in January. Paramedic Matt Harrison and Technician Ryan Slater were first on scene and on their arrival found gym owner, Nick Lovell, already performing CPR.

Matt and Ryan were quickly backed up by a second crew, Paramedic Helen Elson and Technician Elaine Webster. With CPR continuing as well as the use of a defibrillator, advanced life support was also administered, all of which allowed Chris’ heart to be successfully restarted.

He remained in a serious condition throughout the journey to Royal Stoke University Hospital but thankfully went on to make a full recovery and after two weeks was able to return home. He said:

“I’d come to the gym as normal and had nearly finished my work-out for the day, but that’s the last thing I remember. Next thing I know, later that same day, I find myself waking up in hospital.

“Obviously I gradually started to understand what had happened and everything that people had done for me and it’s quite incredible really. Without Nick starting CPR and the work of the ambulance crews, I would not be here to tell this story, I cannot thank people enough, including all of the staff at the hospital.”


Paramedic, Matt Harrison, added: “We arrived to find Nick performing really good CPR which is of the utmost importance in a situation like this and has played a huge part in saving Chris’ life.

“We, as ambulance staff, often get referred to as heroes, but I don’t believe we are. The real heroes from my point of view are the people that are willing to do what Nick has done, stand out from the crowd and be willing to do CPR – ultimately, saving Chris’ life.

“It’s fantastic to see Chris today and see how well he is doing, we don’t often get to discover what has happened to patients we have treated so seeing Chris fit and well having returned to his normal daily life is great.”

The importance of early CPR was a point backed up by Ryan, who said: “If we walk in to a patient and someone is doing CPR, it is a massive help to us and gives the patient a better chance of survival.

“Every second counts, so the sooner chest compressions are started the chance of survival, even though still small, is much greater. In this situation, CPR was started almost immediately and the outcome was absolutely amazing.

“Everyone should learn to do CPR, it is a really easy thing to do and it could help you save someone’s life.

“Also, if people can find where there nearest defibrillator is, this could prove vital in saving someone’s life. They tell you what to do, there is absolutely no need to be scared of trying to use one.”


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'