Paul was outside cleaning his windows at home on 2 April 2020 when he started to feel faint. He went inside to sit down, and developed chest pain and felt cold. Next the 58-year-old started to develop tingling in his arms and hands.
He said: “We were only just a week or so into the first lockdown, so I was reluctant to call the emergency services in case it was nothing, I didn’t want someone coming out unnecessarily. But when the symptoms developed, I thought it might be a heart attack.”
A land ambulance arrived at Paul’s house in Week St Mary and confirmed what he suspected; he was having a heart attack. With his condition worsening and such a distance from the nearest hospital, Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked.
Just a day after the new helicopter came into service, the AW169 landed in the playing field in the village. On board were critical care paramedic Kris Lethbridge, along with trainee critical care paramedics Martin Bunt and Louise Lamble.
Paul was airlifted to Derriford Hospital- a journey which took just 12 minutes. He had surgery to have a stent inserted.
He said: “It all happened so quickly; it took a while to sink it. I had watched the launch of the new helicopter on the news, then a day later I was in it. Everybody involved was fantastic- worth their weight in gold. My daughter was also helped by the air ambulance when she was a baby- that’s why we have to support it, you never know when you might need it.”
Since his incident Paul has been walking every day and was able to return to work.