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Racegoer who nearly died at edge of track to thank those who saved his life

PUBLISHED: 16:46 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:09 08 October 2019

Critical care paramedic Neil Flowers (left) who attended Bob Burford at Fakenham Racecourse in March. Picture: EAAA

Critical care paramedic Neil Flowers (left) who attended Bob Burford at Fakenham Racecourse in March. Picture: EAAA

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A man who nearly died by the edge of a racecourse track earlier this year is returning to the spot where it happened.

When racegoer Bob Burford arrived at Fakenham Racecourse back in March, he did not expect to be fighting for his life just moments before the first race was due to start.

But after becoming dizzy and queasy, Mr Burford collapsed by the paddock exit, where he fell to the ground before going into cardiac arrest .

Within seconds, the Anglia One crew from the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) was deployed and arrived just 18 minutes after receiving the call.

A paramedic performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Mr Burford, relieving the racecourse's medical team who had taken action immediately.

Mr Burford was then given enhanced critical care by the EAAA team, doctor Pam Chrispin and critical care paramedic Neil Flowers, before being flown to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

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Now, Mr Burford, who went on to make a full recovery, is returning to the scene of the emergency to pay a special thank you to the people who saved his life.

He said: "It's certainly an experience I don't want to go through again, but just goes to show you never know when you might need the East Anglian Air Ambulance. I wouldn't be here without them."

The 75-year-old of Isleham, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, will be attending a special event in support of EAAA to thank those involved.

On October 18, Fakenham Racecourse will start its season of National Hunt racing with the Sky Sports Racing raceday in support of the charity. This is the first Fakenham Racecourse raceday supporting EAAA and is hoped it will raise more than £5,000.

On the day, representatives from EAAA will be giving CPR demonstrations and there will be a reception in the Lancaster Room which will include a two-course lunch and a charity raffle.

Mr Burford added: "I see them flying over my house from time to time, and know I am supporting an amazing local charity.

"It's fantastic that the racecourse is hosting a charity raceday to help raise vital funds for the air ambulance, especially as they are aiming to fly 24/7 from Norwich next year and need to raise a lot more in order to do that."

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