Brought back to life 5 times: Read Jimmy’s remarkable story

At around 6:40am on Thursday 2nd January this year, postman James Watson known as ‘Jimmy’, was going about his work routine in the special delivery office, alongside colleagues, at the Wisbech Sorting Office; when he started feeling unusually bloated and uncomfortable around his chest, “as if he needed to burp” (in Jimmy’s words). It was when he started to feel very hot, sweaty and dizzy that Jimmy (as one who doesn’t like to cause a fuss) decided that things were definitely not right. After lots of discussion with his work mates, his fellow postie workmate Ricki dialled 999. Little did Jimmy know just how vital that call would turn out to be. Shortly afterwards, he lost consciousness.

As a result of the emergency call, an NHS EEAST Ambulance Service paramedic crew arrived shortly afterwards – they did a great job defibrillating Jimmy and successfully resuscitated him.

Due to the fact that Jimmy had gone into cardiac arrest; this also meant his situation was time critical and so he needed urgent hospital care there and then. Hence, Magpas Air Ambulance were also called to his aid. Jimmy was conscious and talking when Magpas Doctor Antonia Hazlerigg and Magpas Critical Care Paramedic Sally Boor arrived at the sorting office to assess his condition and bring the emergency department to him.

Then, whilst preparing to move him safely to the helicopter, Jimmy went into another cardiac arrest. Specially trained Magpas Dr Antonia and Paramedic Sally ‘shocked’ Jimmy twice. On loading him into the air ambulance he suffered two more cardiac arrests; the Magpas team defibrillated him again and gave him advanced drugs to try and prevent it happening again. Once in the air, Jimmy went into cardiac arrest four more times – and all the while this incredible man (who’s in his 50’s) was giving Dr Antonia and Paramedic Sally verbal warnings – saying things like, “I’m going, I’m going…it’s happening again” (then he’d fall unconscious)…then “I’m back! I’m back!”

Subsequently, when the Magpas Air Ambulance doctor and paramedic team had handed over Jimmy’s care to the staff at Royal Papworth Hospital for further treatment, he had to be shocked one last time.

This morning, 10 days after having his life saved multiple times, Jimmy met the Magpas enhanced doctor who helped to make that crucial difference.

Asked how it felt to meet Dr Antonia at the Magpas Air Ambulance Operations Base, Jimmy said, “It’s amazing to thank one of the people who helped save my life – I can’t believe it. Words can’t sum up how I feel to meet Antonia. All I can say is, not all heroes wear capes!”

Dr Antonia (who had just finished a night shift with Magpas Air Ambulance) explained, “Jimmy’s looking remarkable which is fantastic to see. Magpas Air Ambulance is a charitable organization and it relies on donations from the general public, so that we can make such a vital, lifesaving difference. This story, Jimmy’s story, totally epitomizes that”.

Jimmy was also joined by his wife Alison this morning. She described what she remembered from the day of Jimmy’s incident, “Dr Antonia came out to tell us what they were doing before they airlifted him in the Magpas Air Ambulance. She said that I needed to prepare myself, because he might not make it to hospital. I don’t even know what went through my mind at that point, but I just kept telling myself he was going to be fine, and he was. As we arrived at Royal Papworth Hospital he was sitting up and chatting! We’re massively grateful for what this charity has done for him.”

Alison went on to say, “Jimmy is larger than life; an outgoing, busy person who lives life to the full. He’s got a lot of recovering to do, but he’s a very tough, very lucky man – and I’m so proud of him.”

Jimmy went on to say, “You can bet I’ll be signing up to their Magpas Air Ambulance charity lottery and I’ll be asking as many people as possible to sign up to their FREE Hearts Matter Community CPR training.”

Magpas Air Ambulance can only deliver this critical care and continue to save lives like Jimmy’s – thanks to generous donations from the communities within which the charity serves. Please donate today so we can save more Jimmys in the future. 

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