Ipswich man raises £1,000 for ambulance service after heart attack

Neil and Carol Ayers with Jonathan Needle and others at cheque presentation. Picture by Stephen Wall

Neil and Carol Ayers with Jonathan Needle and others at cheque presentation. Picture by Stephen Waller Photography - Credit: Archant

Ipswich port worker Neil Ayers suffered a potentially fatal cardiac arrest last year – but now he is donating £1,000 to the ambulance service that saved his life.

Neil and Carol Ayers with Jonathan Needle and others at cheque presentation. Picture by Stephen Wall

Neil and Carol Ayers with Jonathan Needle and others at cheque presentation. Picture by Stephen Waller Photography - Credit: Archant

Mr Ayers collapsed at home last August and it was the prompt action of his wife who administered CPR and called 999, followed by the early defibrillation given by the ambulance crew, that made all the difference.

Jonathan Needle, community collaboration manager, was presented with a £1,000 cheque by Mr Ayers and his wife Carol.

Mr Needle said: “Neil’s story really does show how important the chain of survival steps are in having a good outcome in these situations. From the early recognition and call for help to 999 from Carol, the crucial CPR she gave, to the early defibrillation given by the crew on arrival.

“Thank you for this generous donation. It will mean that another defibrillator will be available to help someone in Suffolk.”

The donation came from the combined generosity of Neil’s colleagues and employers at Associated British Ports (ABP).

On hearing his story, the ABP staff who work at the Port of Ipswich donated their Christmas meal deposits towards a defibrillator fund.

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The managers at ABP responded to this kind gesture by topping up the rest of the money to hit the £1,000 total.

Mr Ayers said: “My colleagues have been amazing. From visiting me in hospital and at home as I recovered, to the ongoing support given once I returned to work. Also the understanding, compassion and support from the managers here has been outstanding.

“I am honoured to be able to present this cheque to the ambulance service. I have no words to be able to thank them for what they did for me and my wife. I hope this money can be used towards a defibrillator to help save another life.”

Mr Ayers described himself as “living proof” that defibrillators do work.

Last November, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust reunited Mr Ayers with the ambulance crews who worked to save his life.

Andrew Harston, director at ABP, hopes to share Neil’s experience with staff who do first aid and defibrillator training as a positive example of what can happen and the importance of defibrillators.

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