Family Thank Lifesavers After Dad’s Heart Stops

A father of three and his family have been reunited with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) team and hotel staff who saved his life when his heart stopped beating.

Carl Botham, 53, collapsed and stopped breathing at the Swindon Marriott Hotel.

Staff realised he needed urgent treatment, so they called 999 and began resuscitation.

Paramedics used a defibrillator to restart Carl’s heart, and transported him to hospital in a critical condition.

Carl regained consciousness four days later, and has gone on to make a fantastic recovery.

Carl, his wife Lorna, and their three children made a special trip from their Stafford home to the hotel on Thursday 30 January to thank the staff and paramedics in person.

(left to right): SWASFT Paramedics Hannah Bennett and Helen Harris, Lorna Botham, Swindon Marriott Head Chef Andrew James, Alfie and Carl Botham, SWASFT Paramedic Helen Eggleton, Former Leisure Club Manager Chris Wood, George and Nichola Botham.

Carl, who has no memory of the incident, said: “I’m thankful to still be alive, and to everyone who was involved in saving me. They did an amazing job, and I cannot thank them enough.

“Without their actions, I would have missed my daughter’s wedding in August and I wouldn’t be here today.”

Carl was working as an electrical contractor when the incident happened in the hotel’s kitchen on 17 April. He cut his head in the fall and was unconscious.

Chris Wood, who was then Leisure Club Manager and First Aid Tutor, did an initial assessment and began treatment.

Head Chef, Andrew James, called 999 and spoke to Emergency Medical Dispatcher Jonathan Leaton who guided him through the basic life support procedure.

Andrew and Chris did CPR and mouth-to-mouth for several minutes, while Clinical Dispatcher Carl Hodgson organised for crews to attend.

Lead Paramedic Arron Dalby and Paramedic Officer Rich Carter were first on scene within five minutes of the call. They were joined by Paramedic Hannah Bennett and Student Paramedic Helen Harris two minutes later. They were later supported by Senior Paramedic Helen Eggleton and a Wiltshire Air Ambulance crew.

The team continued CPR and gave Carl three shocks with a defibrillator to resuscitate him.

They transported him by ambulance to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where he was put on a life support machine and remained for more than two weeks.

Lorna said: “I received the worst phone call ever from Carl’s employer. We left Stafford with just what we had on us to be with him.

“We never thought this would happen, especially when Carl was away from home. But we’re so grateful to everyone involved in saving Carl’s life. They were amazing.”

Carl was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to regulate his abnormal heart rhythm. He continued his recovery at home and has since returned to work.

Lead Paramedic Arron said: “Carl survived a cardiac arrest because of the immediate and effective actions from those on scene. Without their intervention his outcome would have been different.

“They laid a great foundation for SWASFT to continue resuscitation and utilise our advanced treatment, and they deserve much praise.

“This was an ultimate team effort from bystanders, ambulance staff and air ambulance staff. It’s incredible to be involved in making such a huge difference for a patient.

“Carl is living proof that people can and do survive cardiac arrests, if they are given the right treatment at the right time. We’re delighted about this outcome for Carl and his family.”

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