A heart attack survivor has raised £5,800 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which flew to his aid.
Matt Robson, 60, of Wark, Northumberland, suffered a heart attack at his home on September 9 last year.
The grandfather said: “I started to get really bad pains so I called my son and daughter-in-law and told them I wasn’t feeling well. They dialled 999 and a paramedic arrived and requested the help of GNAAS. It only took them about 16 minutes to reach me from their base at Penrith.
“I was stabilised and the crew loaded me in to the aircraft and I was at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle in 12 minutes. I then had an operation.
“From the initial 999 call, through to my treatment at hospital and being back on the ward drinking a cup of tea, all in all, it took about two hours and 10 minutes. The care throughout really was remarkable.”
On his 60th birthday, Mr Robson held a fundraiser in aid of GNAAS to thank them for their efforts. Around 160 family, friends and locals attended the race night at Wark Sports Club in Hexham.
Mr Robson said: “Everyone was so generous and really got in to the spirit of the fundraiser. I had set out to raise £2,000 but as the night went on I knew we would be well on our way to that sum and we almost trebled it.”
Local firms sponsored each race, with his employer, Hanson Concrete, and Coulson Construction both donating £500 each to the cause.
He said: “The support from local businesses has been wonderful. The cost of the air ambulance is massive but I hope this donation helps to sustain it. Everyone that cared for me was fantastic so I cannot put my thanks in to words.”
Mr Robson handed the funds over to paramedic, Andy Dalton, and pilot, Phil Lambert, who were both at the scene of the incident last year.
Andy Dalton said: “It was great to meet Matt again and his fundraising is fantastic. We appreciate all the effort he has made to say thanks in this way because we are a charity and need to continue raising funds like this to operate.”