Retired Paramedic praises actions of grandson after son's cardiac arrest

A RETIRED Scottish Ambulance Service Lead Paramedic who had to perform CPR on his own son has praised his grandson’s actions during the incident.

Gerry Egan, of Musselburgh, said he received a call from his son Chris on January 28, after playing football with Murray his 7 year old son, saying he was feeling unwell and had pains in his chest.

Gerry, who has 36 years’ experience with SAS, lived a few minutes away and immediately headed around.

They made a 999 call but soon after arriving, Chris, went into cardiac arrest, leaving his dad to start chest compressions and use an AED, which he kept in his vehicle.

Tom Hunter, Paramedic Team Leader, Pierre Ellis (operating a 3RU) and Gillian Henderson, both Paramedics, and Kaitland Boyle, Trainee Technician, attended after being dispatched by Jack Gardner with the call taken by Emma Ruf.

He said although it was only a couple of minutes until the crew arrived, it “felt like 45 minutes” and added: “Murray was absolutely brilliant and coped with the trauma of his dad being resuscitated.

"He turned on the outside light, put the dog in the crate and passed on information to the crew, who then took over the resuscitation. I’m incredibly proud of Murray. He did everything we asked him to do. He had a very calm head on a young shoulders.”

Gerry said he was focused on performing the CPR, but once the crew took over, it sunk in what was happening.

Chris, an undertaker, was then transported by the crew to New Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and since made a good recovery and has since returned to work.

Gerry and Chris recently visited Edinburgh City Ambulance Station and were reunited with the A and E crews who attended.

While Murray couldn’t attend, he was presented with a Certificate of Commendation by the Scottish Ambulance Service and also a SAS bobble hat and pin badge.

Murray is really proud of his certificate and will be taking it into school to share with his class mates.

Gerry said: “It was really nice to meet them and we are just really appreciative of the crew and also the control room staff who played their part.”

Gerry, who retired from SAS 10 years ago after working as Clinical Director, Consultant Paramedic, before moving on to become Chief Executive of the College of Paramedics, said during his time he would have likely attended “thousands of cardiac arrests”.

He added: “This stands out above them all because it was my own son. They all have a stark memory, but this one has extra relevance.”

Tom Hunter, Paramedic Team Leader, said: “We are thrilled that Chris has made a good recovery and along with the rest of the crew were delighted that Gerry and Chris came into the station to thank the staff in person. I’d also like to say a big thanks to Murray, who did an amazing job under challenging circumstances.

“It shows how important CPR is, and while Gerry is very experienced, we’d remind people to sign up and learn these basic first aid skills – you never know when you might need to use it. It could save someone’s life.”

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Posted on 02/05/2024