“ I thank my lucky stars - without them I would not be here today” - the words of a Sutton-cum-Lound man to the ambulance crews who saved him.
When Ian Crookes, 61, started experiencing crippling stomach pains on Christmas Eve last year he knew something was seriously wrong.
After calling 999, EMAS crew members Rebecca Heelis and Lynsay O’Neill were quickly on the scene and suspected Ian may be suffering from an aortic aneurysm.
The worst fears were confirmed when Ian’s aorta ruputured as he was loaded on to the ambulance - putting his life in serious danger.
Ian said he is eternally grateful to the two paramedics for helping to save his life.
“I’m a lucky man and these two ladies deserved to be thanked for their quick-thinking and way they looked after me,” he said.
“It makes you think about things differently. You get up in the morning, look around and think this would all have gone if it wasn’t for Rebecca and Lynsay.”
Ian was suffering from an aortic aneurysm - where a section of the body’s main artery bulges - and was immediately rushed to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
The paramedics’ skills and care provided by hospital staff led to Ian recovering from his near-death experience, after undergoing five hours of surgery and spending just over four weeks in intensive care.
He said: “I think the hospital were surprised to see me still alive when I arrived - only one in five people recover from what happened to me.”
“I was in induced coma for four weeks. I have very little recollection of what happened and have had to piece things together from what people said.”
“I have always been very healthy otherwise and this came completely out of the blue - it could have happened to anyone.”
Ian was so grateful for the care he received he contacted EMAS to ask if he could personally thank Rebecca and Lynsay.
“People in the emergency services often don’t get the thanks they deserve,” he said.
“It was great to meet Rebecca and Lynsay - we all had a bit of a group hug. I think it was good for them to know how things turned out for me as they usually leave their patients at the door.”
Ian is making a slow but positive recovery and said he is looking forward to the future with a new outlook.
“I am just taking things day by day. I was in bed for six weeks and you forget how to walk, but I am slowly getting backon my feet again and looking forward to the future.”