THE wife of a 70-year-old man who suffered a massive cardiac arrest while out fishing with friends has praised the ‘guardian angels’ who performed life-saving CPR on her husband.
Fred Martin, a keen angler, collapsed to the ground at the Barn Elms Fishery in Bradfield on Friday, September 16, and stopped breathing for almost 13 minutes.
Mr Martin’s friend Tony Aubrey immediately alerted the fishing bailiff on duty, David Maynerd, who called an ambulance and started CPR.
By chance a fisherman, Simon Marshall, who had recently completed a first aid course, was passing by and stopped to help with the CPR.
The afternoon bailiff, Alan Walker, then drove his car up to the main road to guide the paramedics and ambulance into the fishery, saving precious minutes for the emergency services.
When ambulance crews arrived they managed to restart Mr Martin’s heart with a single shock and he was stabilised before being taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
After two days in intensive care and round-the-clock supervision from the cardiac care team, Mr Martin is on the road to recovery.
Mr Martin’s wife of 11 years, Stella Martin, said: “It is a miracle what has happened and I am so grateful to everyone who has given my husband a second chance of life.
“I cannot thank Dave, Tony, Simon and the amazing team at Royal Berkshire Hospital enough.
“The doctors said that without their quick-thinking he probably wouldn’t have survived. They are his guardian angels.”
As Mr Martin, who lives in Beenham, had stopped breathing for 13 minutes, doctors were preparing his wife for the worst in case he had suffered brain damage.
But when he opened his eyes, Mr Martin instantly recognised everyone.
“It was a beautiful, beautiful moment,” recalled an emotional Mrs Martin. “It was a one-in-a-million chance that someone who had recently completed CPR training was there to help him.