Keith Simmonds was on his garage roof on a beautiful summer’s morning preparing to paint the exterior walls of his house in Porthleven when he suddenly developed severe chest pains.
As he made his way down into the house, wife Sharon became concerned that the pain was getting more intense by the minute and called for an ambulance.
Keith explained: “At first I thought I’d just overdone it, taking the ladders up on to the roof. There was a tight feeling across my chest and noticed it went down my arm. I had just walked the dog in the morning and I didn’t feel ill.”
Paramedics from the ambulance service assessed Keith and discovered he had suffered a heart attack. With time critical, they immediately requested Cornwall Air Ambulance to transfer Keith to hospital for further treatment.
The charity’s pilot and paramedics landed at Porthleven Cricket Club just before 2pm on Saturday 4 August, causing play to stop. Critical Care paramedics Jeremy Griffiths and Pete Storer transported Keith in to the air ambulance.
Keith said: “The paramedic told me he was calling for an air ambulance and then I knew it was serious. The irony is it’s the first flight I’ve ever taken- I turned down a helicopter trip with work the previous week.
“I remember going in the helicopter and someone at the cricket club shouted ‘good luck mate’ that really stayed with me. I don’t think I’d have made it if I went by land ambulance.”
Cornwall Air Ambulance got Keith to Royal Cornwall Hospital in 7 minutes, where a medical team was on standby to provide further treatment.
Sharon said: “The doctors at the hospital told me he had about 5 minutes to spare. Keith’s heart damage would be a lot worse if he didn’t get there as quick as he did.
“I don’t think the paramedics realise how special they are- they think it’s just another job.”
Keith spent five days in hospital, and is awaiting heart bypass surgery.