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Derbyshire man urges people to support lifesaving charity which flew to his rescue

Derbyshire man urges people to support lifesaving charity which flew to his rescue

Two years ago on 17 January, Belper project manager Nick Forsyth (30) was attended by Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) after he suffered a heart attack which led to a cardiac arrest.

He was healthy and physically fit at the time – playing hockey for the local town team and other sports – but he developed chest pains and collapsed at the side of the pitch during a weekly five-a-side match.

Thankfully, Nick is now back to full health after completing a cardiac rehabilitation course and is running, cycling, and playing hockey again.

“My recovery is thanks to the first aid and CPR I received at the sports centre and also, to the treatment I was given by the air ambulance critical care crew who attended me,” says Nick.

Both a land ambulance and DLRAA attended DW Sports in Derby in response to a 999 call after Nick collapsed.

He subsequently found out that, unbeknown to him, he had an obstruction in his left anterior artery causing a clot to form which stopped the blood flow to his heart.

The air ambulance clinicians had to stabilise Nick as his heart had been re-started. He was still critically unwell and they needed to support his vital systems and get him to a hospital with a specialist cardiology department to fix the obstruction in the blood flow around his heart.

He was anaesthetised and put onto a ventilator, enabling the doctor to optimise his blood pressure and oxygenation and help with the stress on his heart and brain function.

The air ambulance doctor accompanied Nick on the land ambulance to Royal Derby Hospital where he was fitted with a stent. After just over a week he was well enough to go home and a fortnight later he was able to return to work.

“Obviously I have no recollection of being treated by the air ambulance doctor, but I am incredibly grateful to all the crew on the helicopter for attending. The quality of care I received from everyone involved in my rescue and recovery was incredible. I am now feeling so well it is as if nothing happened, which is testament to them all,” he says.

Despite the most challenging of years – which included the projected net loss of income of at least £2.2million –  the local air ambulance was called to over 3,410 missions in 2020 as it remained fully operational in providing vital support to the NHS when it mattered most.

One-third of these potentially lifesaving missions were to medical incidents like Nick’s.

The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, (DLRAA) along with the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) worked tirelessly around the clock over the last year, and despite the financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the charity has continued to provide frontline, critical care across its five counties and further afield.

Nick says: “I urge local people to support this lifesaving charity which needs as much help as possible due to the current third lockdown which has resulted in the closure of all shops and suspension of fundraising events. I am living proof of the amazing work they do, without Government funding, every day of the year.”

To help your local air ambulance continue providing vital critical care across Derbyshire and further afield, please click here