A PENSIONER who suffered a heart attack had his life saved when his wife drove him – to the vets.
Hamish Ritchie, 79, collapsed while his wife was driving him home after a visit to a garden centre in Kelso in the Scottish Borders.
His quick-thinking wife, Jacky, 72, took a split-second decision to take her stricken husband to the vets they normally use to treat their pet dog.
Jacky knew the practice was just a minute’s drive from where the emergency happened and her decision helped save Hamish’s life.
Two vets from Galedin Veterinary did CPR for 10 minutes while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Last week, Hamish, now well recovered from his close call in September last year, went back to the vets to see the new public defibrilator that he contributed towards out of his own pocket.
Hamish and Jacky, from Coldstream, had been shopping at a garden centre in Kelso on the day of the drama.
Hamish said today: “My wife was driving us back home and as we were coming to the corner of the major car park, which is near the vet.
“I collapsed and started leaning on her initially she thought I was joking but then realised what had happened.
“She had the initiative to pull in to the vet’s and dashed inside and spoke to the assistant to call the ambulance.
“Then two vets came out to help me out of the car and then gave me some CPR. It was about ten minutes before the ambulance arrived I’m told.”
Jacky said today: “When I stopped the car at the vets he had no pulse so I quickly raced over to the vet. Luckily it was Saturday morning and the vets were open so I ran in and asked Sheila to call the emergency services.
“Two vets took him inside and placed him on the floor where they started chest compressions on him.
“Luckily the ambulance arrived rather quickly so he could be taken to the hospital to ICU where he was put on a ventilator.
“I only took him to the vet because we go to that vet there and there was no doctors in the area and they could check him out there and put a phone call into the emergency services.
“It was very traumatic at the time. I dread to think what would have happened if Hamish was driving us back to Coldstream.”
Resident vets Michael Kyle and Robbie Norquay carried Hamish into the surgery and performed CPR, keeping his blood flowing until paramedics restarted his heart with a defibrillator.
Robbie said: “Mr Ritchie wasn’t breathing so we got him into the surgery.
“It was pretty scary at the time, but it is great to now see him so well. Mr and Mrs Ritchie have kindly donated some money for a defibrillator at the the surgery and we have contributed to the rest of the cost.”
Three years ago a vet in Lincolnshire saved the life of a woman who suffered from a heart-attack after witnessing her dog being put down.
Lizzie Bevis, 30 suffered the heart failure after taking her seven-year-old Jack Russell Daisy for the lethal injection.
Matthew Fry after putting the dog down immediately started CPR on Lizzie and got the nurse to call emergency service.