Seagulls heart attack patient reunited with life savers

St John Ambulance Brighton and Hove Albion life savers

A Brighton and Hove Albion football steward who had a heart attack two weeks ago at the Amex Stadium, has been reunited with those who saved his life on Saturday (8 November).

Alan Latimer, 34, was at the ground preparing for the Brighton and Hove Albion match against on Rotherham on Saturday 25 October when he started to feel unwell.

One of the steward supervisors radioed up to the control room, where a team of St John Ambulance volunteers had just arrived ahead of the game.

District Manager Trevor Moss immediately sent three first aiders – Cynthia White, Sally Elliott and trainee Melody Welch - to Alan’s aid. He was looking very grey, sweating profusely, complaining of chest pain and feeling dizzy, so they radioed Trevor to request an ambulance. Trevor called 999, while Cynthia’s team and another St John Ambulance crew who arrived on scene gave Alan an aspirin and oxygen.

South East Coast Ambulance Paramedic Practitioner Richard Harding arrived at the ground just minutes later and was joined by: A&E Consultant and Lead Crowd Doctor Dr Rob Galloway, Critical Care Paramedic Mark Lilley and Clinical Operations Manager Jon Morris, who were all on duty at the stadium for the game.

Alan was taken under the care of the South East Coast Ambulance team, and ambulance crew Caroline Holland and Ross Butler, as a priority patient to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where he underwent surgery to have two stents fitted. 

On Saturday, he returned to the stadium to meet the team who saved his life, for the first time.

Alan commented: “I’ve not got a lot of memory of what happened that day, but I’d like to say thank-you to all involved and I’m so glad to still be alive.”

Dr Rob Galloway said: “It was the high level of skill of the St John Ambulance first aiders to realise the level of seriousness and start immediate first aid, including oxygen and aspirin, which made the real difference. Soon after South East Coast Ambulance and myself arrived, an ECG was done which showed he was having a very serious heart attack. We managed to give him GTN spray to open up his arteries and a cannula into the vein to give him morphine and then blue lighted him to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

“The cardiologists were there waiting for him, he went straight to theatre and they opened up his blocked blood vessels. He was sitting up in bed about four hours after he left the stadium.”

St John Ambulance District Manager Trevor Moss commented: “This shows the importance of recognising these symptoms early in such a situation. It really can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. It was wonderful to meet Alan and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Mark Lilley, from South East Coast Ambulance, added: "We’re all delighted to hear that Alan has recovered so well. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in caring for him and for the quick thinking and actions of the St John Ambulance team. Everyone acted calmly and professionally to ensure Alan received the treatment he needed. The incident highlighted the importance of good teamwork and high quality medical cover.”

For more information about St John Ambulance go to www.sja.org.uk

ENDS

To find out more about this story for St John Ambulance, please contact Kate Rutsch, SE Regional PR Officer on 07940 501525 or email katerutsch@cakepublicity.co.uk

For more information about this story for Brighton and Hove Albion/Amex call the club’s press office on 0344 324 6282.

Picture caption (from left to right):
Chris Tucker (BHA), Cynthia White (SJA), Mark Lilley, Alan Latimer, Trevor Moss (SJA) and Dr Rob Galloway.

About St John Ambulance
As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance believes that nobody should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. St John Ambulance teaches people first aid so that they can be the difference.