A MAN who had a cardiac arrest in a Wrexham chip shop has been reunited with the bystander and ambulance crew who saved his life.
Peter Mulvaney, 56, was at the Hungry Inn in Caia Park when he collapsed without warning and stopped breathing.
A quick-thinking customer recognised that the father-of-four was in cardiac arrest and began CPR, while takeaway staff called 999.
Welsh Ambulance Service crews arrived within minutes to take over.
Peter recalled: “My last memory is being stood at the counter, and the next thing I know I was waking up in the hospital.
“According to bystanders, I hit my head on the wall on the way down.
“I vaguely remember the paramedics coming to visit me in the hospital afterwards, but I have no idea what I said to them.
“I’m so grateful that it happened where it did and that someone there knew how to do CPR because, without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.”
It was a Friday night in July when Peter took ill at the takeaway.
Paramedic Sally Bottomley and emergency medical technician Bryan Kirkpatrick were first at the scene, followed by urgent care assistants Tammy Bishop and Kevin Hargreaves.
Sally, a paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service for eight years, said: “Thankfully, there was someone who was performing very good CPR, who is as much to thank for Peter’s survival as anyone.
“We took over and delivered shocks to Peter with a defibrillator, which gave us a pulse.
“We looked at each other and said ‘Right, we have something to work with here.’”
Kevin, a former civil servant who joined the Trust in 2013 after a spell as a Community First Responder, said: “After about five minutes of CPR, ventilation and shocks, we got an output from Peter and he began to make some spontaneous respiratory effort.
“We don’t always get to hear about the patient’s outcome so are thrilled that Peter made it through and humbled that he wanted to meet us.”
Tammy, who joined the service aged 20 as an apprentice mechanic, added: “This was mine and Kevin’s last weekend as urgent care assistants before we began training to become emergency medical technicians.
“This is exactly the reason I wanted to join the emergency ambulance service, to help people and to save lives.
“Peter’s was a job I’ll definitely remember.”
Peter was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital and later transferred to the North Wales Cardiac Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd where he underwent a procedure to insert two stents in the arteries around his heart.
He is now recovering at home and being cared for by his eldest son Matthew, 25.
He said: “I still have quite a lot of pain in my sternum where they were doing the chest compressions, but I’d rather have that and be alive to tell the tale, than not at all.
“This was actually my third heart attack; I had my first aged 21.
“I’ve had angina for many years, as did my mother, but it’s never been as serious as it was on this occasion.”
Today, Peter was reunited with the ambulance crew back at the chip shop, as well as bystander Michelle Evans, who performed the CPR.
Michelle, 40, of Rhosnesni, said: “I’d only come in for a bag of chips, and I just remember this man stood at the counter suddenly drop to the floor.
“The shop called 999 and once it became clear he was in cardiac arrest, I started CPR.
“I used to be a lifeguard so knew how to do CPR, but I haven’t done it in years; the adrenaline just kicked in and I did it.
“It’s amazing to see him again today, I can’t believe how well he looks.”
Peter, who was supported today by son Matthew and his partner of five years, Maggie Rastall, added: “Words can’t explain how grateful I am to Michelle and the ambulance crew for what they did.
“Today’s been unbelievable, I can’t thank them enough