'Swift response' sees grandad on the mend after heart attack
- Credit: Hawes family
A 70-year-old's trip to prepare his family's new holiday caravan turned into a race against time when he suffered a major heart attack.
Terry Hawes was at Pinewoods, in Wells, when he was suddenly taken ill last Wednesday and needed to be airlifted to hospital.
Mr Hawes and his wife Ann had just bought a new caravan for their family and had travelled up from their home in Hainford to kit it out with their dog Fern.
Mrs Hawes had nipped out for a walk with a friend.
He said: "We were going up for the first time to stock it up.
"I was feeling a bit unwell when they had gone and felt a bit faint. I did faint and I was out for a couple of seconds.
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"I needed the swiftest of possible responses and everybody played their part to an incredible degree."
Mrs Hawes called 111 and 999, with a responder sending one of the town's cycling paramedics to the caravan site.
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An ECG found Mr Hawes was having a major heart attack and an ambulance was diverted from Fakenham.
The 70-year-old said more than two decades ago a friend died after suffering a heart attack while they were playing golf.
He said: "When heart attack came into my mind, I thought of that, instant death."
But he said the speed of the response to the park gave him a "fighting chance", with the East Anglian Air Ambulance landing on the campsite.
He arrived at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital less than 15 minutes later and was treated immediately, with stents inserted.
Mr Hawes, who was conscious the whole time, said: "I think we were going for the record of how many paramedics could you get in a holiday caravan at one time.
"The ambulance crews have the ability to be very friendly, very calm, very reassuring and with a sense of humour."
The grandfather-of-three says he is looking forward to returning to the caravan but said it was hard to take it easy after leaving hospital last Saturday.
He added: "I am an active person, I like to walk, I like to be outdoors and doing things like that. It's difficult when anything could be stressful."
Mrs Hawes praised staff at Pinewoods for helping to marshal the paramedics to treat her husband.