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Pioneer of defibrillator Tom Beare meets 999 crew who saved him

Tom Beare and his wife Doreen meet the NIAS staff who were involved in his resuscitation
Tom Beare and his wife Doreen meet the NIAS staff who were involved in his resuscitation

By Staff Reporter

A defibrillation pioneer who survived a heart attack has met members of the ambulance crew who saved his life.

Tom Beare returned to Whiteabbey Ambulance Station to express his gratitude in person to the Ambulance Service staff who came to his aid after he suddenly took ill earlier this year.

Mr Beare, who is retired, had previously worked to develop portable defibrillators - one of which saved his life.

His wife Doreen found her husband collapsed and unconscious at their Newtownabbey home on May 25.

She immediately dialled 999 for an ambulance.

On duty in the control room that day was emergency medical dispatcher Lynsey Perry, who picked up Doreen's call and guided her through the vital first responses and CPR that helped save her husband's life.

In the background the first of two crews was being sent from Whiteabbey station, to be supported by another from Belfast's Bridge Ambulance Station. The crew arrived within four minutes.

With Lynsey on the other end of the phone encouraging and coaching her, Doreen kept up CPR on her stricken husband.

Paramedic Tom Hardy and emergency medical technician (EMT) Nigel Fannin arrived at the scene and started their resuscitation, and were joined a short time later by paramedic Jade Rickerby and EMT Mark McGookin.

They worked at reviving Tom, and after three shocks from the defibrillator he responded, and was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Ambulance Service spokesman John McPoland said: "It is a huge testament to the work carried out by Lynsey and the emergency crew members Tom, Nigel, Jade and Mark that Tom was able to recover and be well enough to come and deliver his thanks personally.

"As a young man Tom had been closely involved in the development of portable defibrillators, and was the founder of defibrillator firm Cardiac Services.

"Little could he have known his life would be saved by his own pioneering work."

Stephanie Leckey, resuscitation lead for the NIAS, said: "Meeting survivors like Tom is evidence that early CPR and defibrillation saves lives.

"Tom's life and work is already a legacy and now he has the opportunity to tell his story to others. I would encourage everyone to learn CPR because, one day, you could be the difference between someone you love living or dying."

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