A man who says his life was saved by a St John Ambulance volunteer from Swindon was reunited with him on 27 March.
Forty-nine-year-old Kevin Blann says that he would have died if Martyn Charity had not made him seek hospital treatment after he starting experiencing chest pains following the Cirencester Off-Road Duathlon.
Kevin, right, pictured by Richard Wintle of www.calyxpix.com saying thank you to Martyn, left, with St John Ambulance volunteer colleague James Tombling at the St John Centre in Rodbourne Road, Swindon
Martyn, who lives in Swindon, was on duty at the Gloucestershire event on 10 February with his colleague James Tombling when they were called to attend Kevin. The amateur athlete had started experiencing chest pains whilst trying to push his van out of the mud.
Kevin, from Harefield, Southampton, thought he was just suffering from heartburn after competing in the race that involved a 5km run, 20km cycle ride and then another 5km run.
He said: "I really wanted to drive home with my father but Martyn had been called to check me over and plainly wasn’t happy with that."
‘He said I looked really pale and that he wouldn’t be doing his job properly if he didn’t make sure I was checked out. An ambulance was called and they took me to hospital. On the way, they did three ECGs on my heart; by the third time, it was lights and sirens all the way to the Bristol Royal Infirmary."
Tesco worker thankful to St John event prescence
Kevin, who works for Tesco at its distribution centre in Southampton and has been a keen cyclist since he was a teenager, underwent an emergency operation to put a stent into his heart.
He believes that he owes his life to Martyn, adding: "I will be eternally grateful that Martyn made me get medical attention – if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today."
Martyn, 29, explained how he assessed the situation. "I could see Kevin was unwell and potentially suffering a heart attack, so I recommended that he went to hospital but he took a lot of persuading that he needed any treatment.
"I suggested meeting him halfway and getting an ambulance and he agreed."
Martyn, who has been a trained first aider since he joined St John Ambulance as a Badger, aged seven, added: "The seriousness of the situation soon hit home when the paramedics confirmed he was having a heart attack. I am glad he listened to my advice."
St John Regional Events Manager, Des Young, said: "This is a perfect demonstration of why knowing first aid is so important – it can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.
"St John Ambulance provides a vital presence at hundreds of events in the South West, every year and it is no understatement to say that Martyn and James saved Kevin’s life.
:If they had allowed him to drive away and he had collapsed at the wheel, he would have been a danger to himself, his passenger and – potentially – other road users.
"We’re just glad that we were able to come to his aid and wish him the best of health in the future."
Pictures by Richard Wintle of www.calyxpix.com