SAS crew save life of man who had an allergic reaction after eating Scottish roll


An Edinburgh ambulance crew have been praised for saving the life of a man who had an allergic reaction to wheat after eating a Scottish morning roll while on holiday.

Terry and Elizabeth Hanson, of Blaydon, Tyne and Wear, have passed on their thanks to Scott Atkinson, Paramedic, and Andrew Innes, Technician, both of Edinburgh City Station.

The pair were on holiday and were walking in Newhailes around 2pm when Terry had a reaction to wheat, which quickly turned into anaphylaxis.

Terry, 71, said: “We were visiting friends. I had breakfast, and I foolishly had a Scottish morning roll, even though I knew I had an allergy to wheat flour. Everything was okay until I started walking and the times I’ve had anaphylaxis in the past, it’s always been associated with eating wheat flour and then exercising afterwards, so it was just totally the wrong thing to do.”

Elizabeth said: “I noticed he was very pale and just didn’t look right. He kind of staggered to a bridge. After a few minutes, he totally lost consciousness.”

She said a group of cyclists passing by stopped by; one called an ambulance and Elizabeth administered an EpiPen.

She explained:  The ambulance arrived very, very quickly and just in time to save my husband's life.  The two ambulance staff were accompanied by a university student who was observing and helping.

She said they were "blue lighted" across Edinburgh by Scott and Andrew to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, adding: “My husband was seen immediately and stabilised. One of the ambulance staff found me in the waiting area and updated me with everything, even though it was extremely busy. Nursing staff also took the time to update me in the waiting area too. 

“I am in no doubt that his life was saved by the swift actions of the ambulance staff and I would like to pass on our sincerest thanks and gratitude to them - I hope they realise how incredible they all are. The staff who attended to him were all very efficient and friendly. I feel he received the absolute best care that he could have possibly received.”

Following the incident on November 13, 2021, Terry was discharged at 3am the following morning. He has now recovered at home and added: “I just want to say thanks very much to the ambulance crew for saving my life. I’m sure I would not have made it if not for them.”

Posted on 06/04/2022