Former editor thanks lifesavers for giving him 'second chance at life'
PUBLISHED: 06:05 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:52 20 July 2018
The former editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star says he was given "a second chance at life" thanks to the life-saving skills of a paramedic and a passer-by who rushed to his aid when he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Terry Hunt collapsed while walking along Carr Street on Monday, May 14, while on his way to a photo shoot at the Cornhill in Ipswich.
He fell to the floor after going into cardiac arrest – but was brought back to life thanks to a paramedic and Lisa Perry, who knows and teaches CPR herself.
While the paramedic used a defibrillator to shock Mr Hunt’s heart, Mrs Perry calmly carried out chest compressions.
Mr Hunt was rushed to Ipswich Hospital where he was stabilised before being blue-lighted to Papworth Hospital, where he was fitted with a stent.
Ten weeks, and another operation, on from his near-death experience, Mr Hunt is back on his feet and determined to learn CPR himself.
He urged other people to join him in learning the life-saving skill.
He said: “I would just like to say how grateful I am to the people who saved me, to Lisa and the paramedic who I would really like to talk to one day.
“I would also like to thank the heart surgeons at Papworth and Ipswich Hospitals.
“But just saying thank you feels dreadfully inadequate. “They have given me a second chance at life and I am eternally grateful.
“I’d like to say how important I now know having first aid skills are.
“If I came across somebody lying there in desperate trouble I wouldn’t know what to do.
“I am going to enrol in a course to learn these skills.”
Mr Hunt said he was lucky someone like Mrs Perry, so well trained in CPR, had been there to bring him back to life.
Mrs Perry said although she had learnt CPR decades ago, this was the first time out of work she had put it to use.
“It was very lucky – I would usually have driven to work – on this particular day I thought it was such a beautiful day that I would walk, she said
“It is very important people learn CPR, even just to recognise when someone is having a heart attack. I am a trained swimming instructor so have known CPR for 23 years. But this is the first time I have had to actually use it.”
Mr Hunt is paying for a new public defibrillator in Ipswich after hearing news one of the life-saving devices had been stolen.
Following his near-death experience in May, Mr Hunt wants to raise awareness of the importance of CPR and first aid training as well as highlighting the need for more public defibrillators in the town.
He has offered to pay £1,500 for a new defibrillator at Seven Assett in St Peter’s Street, after it was stolen in the early hours of Tuesday.
He said: “I heard the news of the theft and my initial reaction was what a stupid, senseless act of gratuitous vandalism.
“It is to no monetary value and could cost someone their life.
“As I know more than most people, they save people’s lives.
“I have offered to pay the money to replace the defibrillator and case.
“It is the least I can do under the circumstances.”