Beds, Herts & Bucks

Golf course rescue after lethal 'widowmaker' heart attack

Paul Dilley Image copyright Thames Valley Air Ambulance
Image caption Paul Dilley suffered a 'widowmaker' heart attack on Woburn golf course

A man who suffered a potentially lethal "widow-maker" heart attack has made a full recovery - after a dramatic rescue during a round of golf.

Father-of-three Paul Dilley, from Cookham, Berkshire, felt short of breath and "a bit faint" on Woburn golf course in August.

He was given 13 defibrillator shocks - and was placed in an induced coma - as doctors fought for his life.

He said he had no idea how serious it was as "the medics were so relaxed".

The rescue, by the crew of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, will be told in the Channel 4 documentary Emergency Helicopter Medics.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Dilley collapsed at Woburn golf course near Milton Keynes, in August 2018

Helicopter team Dr Chloe Spence and paramedic Jo Meadham described the scene as "the toughest cardiac incident we've ever attended".

"Paul was critically ill," said Dr Spence. "But he was a fighter and he battled to stay alive."

The "widowmaker" heart attack is considered one of the deadliest, and occurs when the left anterior descending (LAD) artery leaving the heart becomes completely blocked.

Image copyright Thames Valley Air Ambulance
Image caption Mr Dilley said air ambulance team Chloe Spence and Jo Meadham were 'so relaxed'

Mr Dilley, who runs an insurance company, said he dialled 999.

"I knew I was unwell. I was short of breath and feeling a bit faint and sweaty, but nothing else," he said.

"The paramedics were so relaxed around me. I'm incredibly lucky to be alive."

'Real teamwork'

Amanda McLean, chief executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: "A widowmaker heart attack is not unusual - but survival is rare.

"It was real teamwork. I'm hugely proud of the crew, who provide consistently exceptional care."

Mr Dilley had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot after the rescue on 10 August.

Six months on, he has made a full recovery, is back at work - and playing sport again.

"I am in awe of the crew's professionalism that day," he said.

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