A cyclist has met the air ambulance paramedic that helped to treat him after he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Darin Ferguson, 44, from Ashington, Northumberland, was cycling on the A197, Whorral Bank, in Morpeth when he collapsed on May 16 this year.
The father-of-one, who rides around 100 miles a week, has now met Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) paramedic, Terry Sharpe, who was on-board the aircraft at the time.
Darin, a design manager at FS Design in Sunderland, said: “I was cycling with my friend and we’d covered 55 miles when we began to head home. We were half way up the bank and I collapsed.”
Two passers-by, a man who had taken first aid training only the previous day, and a woman in another car, stopped and gave life-saving CPR. An ambulance arrived and then GNAAS flew him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
In the hospital he was induced into a coma, a state he remained in for four days.
Darin said: “After I was woken up, I was transferred to the Freeman Hospital and had stents put in my heart.
“I have no memory of what happened to me but have pieced most of it together. I am now on my way to making a really good recovery and am back at work and out cycling.
“I have a more easy-going outlook now. Life is moving at a slower pace.”
Darin has since made it his mission to thank everyone that helped him that day and has spoken to both passers-by and met with one woman, a dentist from Bedlington. Now, he has also made a visit to the charity’s Langwathby airbase with his wife, Julia, and son Elliot.
He said: “Without them I wouldn’t be here and I am forever in debt to the air ambulance. It is such a necessity. I wanted to say thank you to GNAAS for saving my life that day. They are true heroes.
“It was brilliant to meet Terry and the other lads, they were all so down to earth. We’ve had a great time.”
The gym he attends, Oasis Health Club in Ashington, are currently fundraising for a defibrillator machine which is one piece of equipment that was used on Darin on the day of his accident.
GNAAS are a charity and need to raise £4.5m every year to stay operational. To donate click here.