Football coach thanks life-savers

A football coach who suffered a cardiac arrest during an under 18s training session has reunited with the ambulance crew, his colleagues and hospital staff to thank them for saving his life.

Simon Brown was coaching the session at North Shields Junior AFC at John Spence Community High School on 14 December when he suddenly collapsed.

Simon’s son, 18-year-old Ethan, shouted for help whilst his colleagues Stu Proctor, Paul Geddes and Derek Bell rushed to his aid and called 999, where NEAS call operator Kerri Corbett was able to talk the group through CPR.

Paramedics Kevin Cook and Jack Beattie were the first to arrive on scene, followed by their colleagues, advanced technician Nicola Ballantyne and paramedic Alex Robbins. They took over CPR and shocked Kevin with a defibrillator four times and administered adrenaline before gaining a pulse and transporting Simon to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.

The 53-year-old from North Shields was out of hospital in time to spend Christmas at home with his family and has now been reunited with the people who saved his life.

He said: “I can remember feeling out of breath and thinking that I couldn’t catch my breath for a while, then all of a sudden feeling really light headed. That’s all I remember until I started to come round in the ambulance and the paramedic was telling me what had happened.

“It has been especially important to me to be able to personally thank all who were involved in saving my life. From my colleagues, to the NEAS ambulance crews who brought me back and the outstanding care I was given at both hospitals. Without them all working together, I wouldn’t be here today and I can’t thank them enough.”

Kevin said: “It is without a doubt that Simon having CPR whilst we were on our way gave him the best possible chance of survival. Simon’s story just goes to show that this can happen anywhere and at any time. Being aware of CPR and what to do in this situation is invaluable and can potentially save someone’s life.”

Call operator Kerri added: “Once we put the phone down we don't often get to hear how the patient is doing. It was great to meet Simon and to see first-hand how the instructions I gave really helped to save his life."

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