Thank-you for saving my life

News | Published:

CARDIAC arrest survivor Rick Denton was delighted to be able to thank the paramedics and members of the public who saved his life.

Rick Denton with a defibrillator. Standing behind him are, left to right, Charlotte Smith, emergency care assistant at St John, Lynette Symons, Paul Hancock, paramedic Dom Fletcher from St John and St John training manager Steve Ford. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 24085235)

‘It feels very surreal to be here, being able to thank the people who saved me,’ said the 57-year-old.

Before he went into cardiac arrest in the cafe at Les Cotils, Mr Denton said he felt perfectly calm, kept fit and was healthy.

He had just come from a seminar and was having a coffee and a bacon sandwich while waiting for his next meeting 30 minutes later.

‘This is a sign it can happen to anyone, at any time,’ he said.

‘The electrics in my heart just went, I felt dizzy but have no recollection of collapsing.’

Les Cotils is the training facility for the St John Emergency Ambulance Service so training manager Steve Ford was quickly on the scene doing chest compressions and applying the defibrillator.

Fortunately, a couple sat behind Mr Denton were first aid trained by St John and responded to the incident quickly, ensuring his airway was clear and giving rescue breaths.

Les Cotils managing director Fiona Naftel called for an ambulance while the cafe manager collected the Cardiac Action Group AED from reception.


At an event at Les Cotils on Friday where Mr Denton met the people he had to thank for his survival, chief officer of the St John Emergency Ambulance Service Ali Marquis said: ‘Thanks to the swift recognition of a cardiac arrest and the immediate CPR and early defibrillation, Rick was conscious by the time the St John responders arrived.’

Mr Denton has since had an internal defibrillator fitted after spending eight days in an intensive care unit.

‘I’m very grateful for everything people have done, and messages from family and friends has made me realise how important we are to people and how much they feel for us.

‘I feel like I have a lot of people to re-pay, it’s definitely given me an opportunity to do some good things.’


As an active sports person and someone who has been a supporter of the Guernsey Lawn Tennis Association and the Guernsey Island Games Association, Mr Denton said he in no way will stop contributing to sport and staying active.

‘It’s important to make sure the time you have is special, nobody wants to feel they are losing someone so being re-united with my family and seeing everyone now is fantastic.’

‘More defibrillators around island the better’ Prompt action saves life – Page 2


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