Ronnie Taylor, 70, thanks ‘guardian angel’ lifesavers who brought him back to life after heart attack in Mildenhall

Heartfelt thanks: Ronnie Taylor from Mildenhall and wife Jo saying thank you to to Ian Owen who help

Heartfelt thanks: Ronnie Taylor from Mildenhall and wife Jo saying thank you to to Ian Owen who helped the pensioner after he collapsed following a major heart attack. - Credit: Archant

A man “brought back to life by guardian angels” after a heart attack has thanked the dog walker and airmen who rushed to his side.

70-year-old Ronnie Taylor suffered a major heart attack while riding his bike, and would be dead if HGV driver Ian Owen and a passing US Air Force serviceman had not carried out 15 minutes of emergency first aid and CPR between them.

Ronnie, a retired landscaper, said: “I don’t remember anything until three days later, but the doctor told me when I came round I had two guardian angels to thank for still being here.

“He said if they hadn’t worked on me for as long as they did, I wouldn’t have survived. I know how lucky I am and I can’t thank them enough.”

He joked: “My wife Jo is glad I am here as well – well, that is what she says.”


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Ian, who was out walking with his dogs with his wife Tanya, saw Ronnie fall off his bicycle and hit his head.

The 51-year-old Falklands war veteran ran across Hornbeam Road, in Mildenhall, to Ronnie’s side, untangling him from his bike while Tanya dialled 999.

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He said: “He was like a dead weight, he was dead.

“But I got him untangled, it was a real struggle. I laid him down checked his airway was clear.

“He had swallowed his tongue so I pulled it out. I knew he didn’t have a pulse and was about to start CPR.”

It was at this point that two RAF Mildenhall airmen passed in their car. USAF Staff Sergeants Scott Caldwell and Blake Broekhove ran to help. Ian, a former corporal in the Royal Engineers, said: “Many people would not have stopped their car, but they did. Blake started chest compressions, while I ensured his airways were clear, held his head and communicated with Blake, we worked together to treat him.”

Ronnie, who spent three weeks in Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, is now at home recovering after the incident, which happened at 9am on August 15.

It was only due to a series of coincidences that Ian and the airmen were able to help at all.

Ian had recently had his first aid training updated at work, something he says was critical to him knowing what to do, while the airmen, who are also trained first aiders, were running late on the way to a mountain bike track.

Ian explained: “I have two English Bull Terriers, Otis and Ellie; one pulls and one drags. If Otis hadn’t been refusing to move, I would have gone by that corner five minutes earlier, and would have been none the wiser.”

Ian knew lifelong Mildenhall resident Ronnie “to say hello to” before, but now says he has found a new friend. “To see Ronnie alive is biggest reward I can ask for,” he said.

“I have been popping round every couple of days to see how he and Jo are.”

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