‘You saved his life’ - Dereham runner Tim Warner recovers in hospital as family thanks off duty paramedic Dale Gedge and Run Norwich 10K race helpers
PUBLISHED: 17:36 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:36 08 August 2017
The brother of a runner who suffered a cardiac arrest just before the end of the Run Norwich 10K road race said the father-of-two is “lucky to be alive” and keen to thank those who saved his life.
Tim Warner, who runs WW Rentavan in Dereham, was just metres from the finish line when he collapsed and was treated at the scene by off-duty paramedic Dale Gedge and stewards.
His brother Robert, who drove straight up from his home in London last night, said Mr Warner was being treated in the coronary care unit at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and his condition was stable.
“He’s alright, he’s wired up as they are investigating to find out what caused it and what treatment to give him,” he said.
“It was such a shock, it really was quite a serious situation and he is lucky to be alive. There is no question that those who attended to him saved his life.”
He said the 53-year-old was “incredibly fit”. He said: “He cycles, does lots of walking and running and does boot camp every Friday night. He was so near the finish line and there was no indication that anything was untoward before he collapsed.
“Our dad died in his 50s so our poor mum was in a state of shock last night but hopefully Tim will have a positive outcome.”
He added that police officers even went up to hospital last night to check on his brother’s condition and to award him his race medal.
“Everyone has been fantastic,” he said. “We are all so appreciative of the help he received and because it was so immediate hopefully his recovery will be easier. Tim would like to thank the paramedic in person when he is better.”
Paramedic Dale Gedge, who has been with the ambulance service for 10 years, said it was the first incident where he had been able to step in to help while off duty.
“I was stood on Theatre Street watching the runners come up the hill and feeling inspired when this gentleman about five to 10 metres away from me collapsed and hit his head hard on the floor when he went down,” he said. “I knew he was in trouble and jumped over the barrier to help.”
Mr Gedge said Mr Warner was unconscious and realised he was in cardiac arrest and had stopped breathing.
“I started CPR within about 30 seconds of him going down and we had a defibrillator there within about a minute. Shortly after we used the defib he started breathing on his own and his heart was beating properly again.
“Amazingly five minutes after that he was conscious and talking to us. When we took him to the ambulance he even managed to wave to the crowd, it was incredible.
“I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”
He paid tribute to the race organisers, stewards and police who steered other runners away from the scene to allow them to treat Mr Warner.
Mr Gedge also wanted to highlight the importance of learning CPR and having a defibrillator to hand.
“Anyone can learn CPR,” he said. “I may be a paramedic but the interventions I made to save his life are not paramedic skills, they can be learned by anyone. It shows how useful it is to have that knowledge.”
Messages from the community for popular businessman
Get well soon messages have been flooding in from the Dereham community after learning businessman Tim Warner had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Landlord Paul Sandford, who runs the Railway Tavern next door to Mr Warner’s WW Rentavan business, said they all wished him a “speedy recovery”.
Members of Dereham Carnival committee also wished him well. Chairman Kerry Doyle said: “Dereham Carnival Committee would like to send our heartfelt best wishes to Tim. In our first year Tim backed our local community event, he really is a much loved and respected man. Sending him and his family lots of love from all of us.”
Mr Warner is well known at Dereham Town football club having been chairman there some years ago. Press officer Rene Kendal, who is also a personal friend, said they were shocked by the news. “Tim is a tremendous guy and we wish him a speedy recovery.”