My name is Michael, and I owe my life to the two St John Ambulance emergency crew who were first on scene responding to a 999 call out.

Michael in hospitalMichael Dunne recovering from surgery after having a stent fitted in his heart

Whilst doing some DIY around the house, I began to feel very unwell. I called my GP who advised me to go to A&E but I’d recently been at hospital with my father so I didn’t want to go. I took my own blood pressure – it was high but quickly returned to normal and I felt ok again.

However, a short while later, I once again began to feel ill, so my wife immediately called 999 for an ambulance.

First on the scene were Chris and Sam from St John Ambulance at Grays.

I remember going into cardiac arrest, it was just a few minutes after Chris and Sam arrived. By performing CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and using the defibrillator, they were able to resuscitate me twice and saved my life. They kept me stable until the paramedics and the air ambulance arrived.

I was taken to The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in Basildon, where just one and half hours after having a cardiac arrest, I had surgery to fit a stent in my heart, which had a blockage. Two hours later I was I was in recovery, sitting up and talking.

Incredibly I was back home just three days later. It was quite a relief for all my family as no one had been able to visit me in hospital due to COVID-19. It’s been quite an emotional time, but I’m pleased to say I’m doing well – I’m taking my medication and doing my rehab. 

It’s been quite a year, but one of the positives has been the wonderful St John people who saved my life in those first few minutes – I can’t thank them enough.

Michael selfieMichael is recovering well at home

I am now signed up to give a regular donation to St John; what they did for me that day was fantastic, so it’s the least I can do.

By donating this Easter your kindness will make it possible for St John Ambulance to help save lives. It could be your life or the life of somebody you love. That’s why a gift today is so important – to help save lives like mine. Thank you!

I will always be incredibly grateful to St John, and with your support, they can ensure their people are able to provide their lifesaving skills within our communities for years to come.

St John Ambulance continues to provide support to the NHS and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including attending 999 emergencies. Your kindness this Easter could help to train more lifesavers like Chris and Sam.

Donate now

How your support can make a difference

£25 could help a young person save the life of a loved one: 

St John’s Badger and Cadet groups for young people aged 7 to 18 develop confident and competent young people prepared to step up in emergencies and save lives; many go on to become adult volunteers or take up a career in the health service.  

£50 could help us urgently train or upskill a volunteer: 

Help us urgently upskill a health volunteer to give extra support in the community. As the threat of COVID continues, we urgently need more volunteers with the extra skills required to work safely with patients.

£100 could help us continue to respond quickly to emergencies:

Whilst COVID is still a threat to our daily lives, your support could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. The success of our emergency response is based on St John Ambulance’s robust and well-organised systems behind the scenes –  our volunteers work as logistics coordinators, communications operators, call operators. We constantly invest in these people and the kit they need.  

£250+ will support the future of St John Ambulance’s work through COVID-19 and beyond:

Our role in your communities and across the country has never been more vital and with your help we will save lives. Your support will enable us to continue to be the nation’s leading community health and first aid charity.