A WOMAN who raised the alarm when her husband had a heart attack while on holiday in Cumbria has praised the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which flew to his aid.
Valerie Tonge, 72, called emergency services after her husband Colin, 75, began to suffer from prolonged and severe chest pains while at Wild Rose Caravan Park, Ormside, Appleby, on March 11.
The GNAAS helicopter landed in a playing field nearby and treated Mr Tonge who was then flown to the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.
Mrs Tonge said the speed of the flight and the treatment her husband received on board the aircraft were crucial to his survival.
“GNAAS is vital in a rural area,” she said. “If we had waited for a land ambulance it could have been a totally different story. It could have been fatal. The service was excellent and we are completely indebted to them.”
Although it is the first time they had to call upon its services, Mrs Tonge said they were already familiar with the charity’s green and white aircraft.
She said: “Together, we have seen the GNAAS land four times in the last 12 months and it was like deja-vu, but this time it was my husband that needed help.”
Despite living in Southport, Merseyside, the couple are regular visitors to the caravan park, having owned a static caravan for ten years.
Mrs Tonge said: “We spend a lot of time here because we love the hills and the countryside.
“My daughter, Alison and I, owe a huge debt of gratitude to this great service, and the dedicated team who go out at all times and assist those in need. Keep up the good work. My thanks are really not enough.”
Mr Tonge is said to be making a good recovery. The couple, who will have been married for 46 years this June, are recuperating in their caravan and hope to raise awareness and donations for GNAAS by organising a fundraising event at the caravan park soon.