Pictured (from left) Katie Kelly, Sarah Carter, Derek Hibbitts, David Harrison and Andrew Mayer
A hospital porter who suffered a heart attack whilst at work has thanked the staff who saved his life. 68-year-old Derek Hibbitts (centre) was going about his normal duties at the Royal Stoke site when he suddenly collapsed late last year. Nurses Sarah Carter and Katie Kelly and porters Andrew Mayer and David Harrison rushed to resuscitate him, performing CPR and using a defibrillator to save his life.
Derek said: "It started out like any normal day. I wasn't feeling unwell and had just been to the service yard to fetch more cages for delivering supplies, then without warning, I collapsed. I came round struggling to breathe and with people standing all around me. It was a total shock later when I realised I had suffered a heart attack. I consider myself to be a pretty active guy as I play table tennis three times a week and have to take my dog Basil for a walk three times a day, but it just shows, it can happen to anyone."
Derek was taken to the hospital's cath lab and received treatment for blocked arteries in the form of a stent. He spent four days in hospital and about six weeks recovering at home.
Derek said: "Needless to say, this was a very scary experience and one I wouldn't wish to repeat. But the fast action of Sarah, Katie, Andrew and David undoubtedly saved my life. If this had happened anywhere else, I would have been dead. I am of course eternally grateful to them and just want to say a heartfelt thank you. It could have been a very different outcome for me and my family if they had not had acted so quickly and with such presence of mind."
Derek has given all four members of staff the UHNM Hero award, in recognition of their lifesaving action.
Sarah and Katie said: "We just happened to be walking down the corridor by the acute medical unit when we Derek. He looked really wobbly, then he collapsed. It was just us, so we started CPR immediately and shouted for help. Fortunately, Andrew and David came with the resus trolley, so we gave him three shocks and a shot of adrenaline, then took him to the cath lab on the coronary care unit."
Andrew and David said: "You just don't expect this sort of thing to happen to someone you know and we've known Derek for quite a few years, so it was a real shock when we realised it was him. We were a bit panicked at first, but adrenaline took over and we fetched the screens and oxygen; everything we needed. We visited Derek later on the ward and it was very reassuring to find him sitting up in bed having tea and biscuits! It's made us realise we're not 20 years-old anymore and that it's always a good time to really think about how you can improve your lifestyle – maybe eat better, healthier and take life a bit slower."