Photo: Bob Morgans and Dr Simon Wood
A golfer who survived a cardiac arrest has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor who helped save his life.
Retired salesman Bob Morgans, 73, was playing at Villa Golf Club in Blackham when he suddenly collapsed at the seventh hole after scoring a birdie.
His friend Roy Wright battled to save him by carrying out chest compressions for about 10 minutes before paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) arrived.
The ambulance crew made several attempts to defibrillate Bob’s heart before the air ambulance reached the scene.
When the helicopter arrived, the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) doctor and paramedic worked with the SECAmb team to successfully resuscitate Bob including the use of advanced airway skills. He was then transferred to a specialist coronary unit and has since made an excellent recovery.
The grandfather-of-five has now met Dr Simon Wood for the first time since his cardiac arrest last August – on the day of his 42nd wedding anniversary.
He said: “It’s quite remarkable what they did, without any doubt, because they went to extreme lengths to get me back.
“It was quite emotional meeting Simon because he found me in a crumpled state and I didn’t know him from Adam.
“I asked him how close to death I was and he said very close and that I was as good as gone. When the nurses at the hospital started calling me the miracle man, now I understand what they were talking about.
“Everyone I have spoken to in the medical fraternity says they are delighted but very surprised that I have recovered, and so quickly. When I went to see my GP for the first time since it happened. he was beyond words.”
It took air ambulance pilots, Captain John Wade and First Officer Dan Vickers just four minutes to get to Bob before landing on the golf course.
Dr Wood and his colleagues Dr Magnus Nelson and paramedic Ben Macauley then carried on resuscitating Bob with SECAmb paramedics and managed to get his heart beating again after about 40 minutes.
They put him into an induced coma before cooling him to help preserve his brain function. He was then flown to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford in just 24 minutes - a journey that could have taken almost an hour by road.
Bob spent a total of six weeks in hospital before he was allowed home and has since had a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted after undergoing a quadruple heart bypass 13 years ago.
Dr Wood said: “It was fantastic to see Bob up and walking around because he has been given a second lease of life. For me personally, it was quite an amazing experience because he is very lucky to still be alive.”
In June, Bob held a golf day at Villa Golf Club and raised more than £600 for the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.
The helicopter is often called to cardiac arrests on the golf course and Bob is backing former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher’s campaign to kit clubs throughout the UK with defibrillators.
Gallacher, 65, suffered a cardiac arrest last year as he was about to give an after-dinner speech but is expected to make a full recovery.
If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk