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Heart attack survivor thanks ambulance crew who helped to save his life

A Wembley Park man was reunited on Friday with the ambulance crew who helped to save his life by diagnosing him with a heart attack in November.

Taketo Omachi, 62, who moved to London from Japan 30 years ago, was shopping on Forty Lane one afternoon, when he began to feel ill. He called a friend who came to his aid and took him to a local doctors’ surgery. His condition did not improve and his friend dialled 999 for an ambulance.

Kenton ambulance crew Paramedic Chris Styles and Emergency Medical Technician Karen Corley arrived soon afterwards.

Karen said: “Mr Omachi was pale and complaining of central chest discomfort. Using a 12-lead electrocardiogram (special equipment used to diagnose a heart attack) we assessed that Mr Omachi was having a heart attack and took him straight to the nearest specialist hospital.”

Using a pioneering procedure called primary angioplasty, the ambulance crew took Mr Omachi to the dedicated heart attack unit at Royal Free Hospital in Camden, one of nine centres in London with a 24/7 cardiac catheter lab.

By calling ahead to the Royal Free, the ambulance arrived to a waiting and highly-specialised cardiac team at the hospital. From here Mr Omachi was taken almost directly into theatre for angioplasty, a procedure that is over 90 per cent successful in treating heart attacks. The Royal Free opened a new entrance last year that bypasses A&E and saves vital minutes for patients in need of this emergency treatment.

Three days later Mr Omachi had recovered enough to be discharged from hospital. He said: “I remember my fingers being cold and some discomfort in my chest, and I can recall the ambulance crew arriving, but after that I just remember waking up in hospital.”

Mr Omachi, self-employed, is now back at work again. He said: “I can’t thank the ambulance crew enough, they are very kind people.”

Karen said: “When someone is suffering a heart attack it’s crucial to call 999 for an ambulance as quickly as possible to give that person the best chance of survival. Mr Omachi was lucky that an ambulance was called so quickly.

“It’s nice to meet Mr Omachi as we don’t always get the chance to catch up with the patients we treat.”

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