Hartlepool man Daryl Sanders has come face-to-face with the medics who saved his life.
A team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service flew the 29-year-old dad-of-one to hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest in July.
It’s all a blur to be honest. You never want to be faced with having to do CPR on your son.Susan Ray
Now Daryl, mum Susan Ray and dad Alan Sanders have personally thanked the crew who treated him - and handed over more than £2,000 to help keep the service in the air.
The 29-year-old father-of-one said it was “amazing” to meet paramedics Paul Burnage and Marcus Johnson: “I was getting ready for work when I started getting some palpitations,” he said. “I called my mam and then I dropped to the floor by the back door, hitting my face on the wall.”
Susan, 52, performed chest compressions on her son before rapid response paramedics arrived and GNAAS flew their specialist team to his side.
The crew placed Daryl into a medically-induced coma before rushing him to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
“I was completely panic stricken,” said Susan. “It’s all a blur to be honest. You never want to be faced with having to do CPR on your son.”
Daryl, who owns his own block paving and landscaping business, spent two days in a coma and a further two weeks in hospital.
Speaking of his gratitude to the GNAAS team, he said: “I might not be here without them. I feel very lucky. I don’t take much for granted anymore.”
The family handed over £2,200 to the charity, which was raised at a recent garden party which they held at home in Greenock Road.
“Everyone was generous because they know what a good cause it is,” said Daryl.
Susan already has plans to make it an annual event: “If it hadn’t been for GNAAS, my son would not be alive today,” she said.
“You can never ever thank them enough for that but this is just our way of giving something back, even though it will never match our gratitude.”
Paramedic Marcus Johnson said: “It was wonderful to see Daryl looking so much better, along with his father Alan and mother Susan who did a fantastic job on the day.
“It is highly unusual for someone of Daryl’s age to suffer a medically-related cardiac arrest and he was one of the youngest cardiac patients which I have been to. Everyone worked as a team to help save his life and him being here today is testament to the work our crew does all year round.
“We want to say a huge thanks for today’s donation. Without such funds we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”