When you have suffered serious ill health, or have been involved in an accident, the paramedics of the ambulance service are always there for you as quickly as they possibly can be. One month ago three paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service came to my rescue.
The paramedics are unfailing in the treatment they give to people in need, and always transport them as quickly as possible to the nearest hospital.
So often the ambulance service seems to get a lot of bad press because we constantly see ambulances in news reports queued up outside hospitals, giving people, wrongly I might add, the excuse to criticise the service, and for maybe not attending a situation as quickly as they would like. This is sadly very misplaced. There is a massive combination of problems that result in ambulances waiting outside hospitals, which is often, if not all of the time, beyond their control.
On the occasion when I needed the assistance of the Welsh Ambulance service I have to say I have nothing but admiration and respect for the care and attention that they gave to me on the Monday evening in which I suffered a stroke. You can read all about this here: My 24 hours in resus.
To many this may seem a very extreme statement, the title of my post, but it was exactly how I felt at the time and since the incident. Yes compared to what happens to many people, whether it be ill health or an accident, what happened to me was not the most serious case that they would have to deal with, but it was to me,. The panic and feeling of disbelief at what was happening to me was sending me into shock and I started questioning my own mortality. A very scary time that I have absolutely no desire to repeat.
On that Monday evening just over a month ago three paramedics arrived at my home. Dan arrived first and instantly put me at ease, and started doing checks on me, which reassured me straight away. Shortly afterwards Roger and Gareth arrived, which totally put me at ease that I was in good hands, that everything was going to be ok.
I had a three hour wait in the ambulance outside the hospital, and at no point was I left alone. Either Gareth or Roger was always with me, allaying any fears or concerns I may have had.
A week or so later I was contacted by the Welsh Ambulance service, and asked if I would like to tell my story for their website, which would also involve meeting up with the paramedics Dan, Gareth and Roger at the Ambulance station for a catch up and some photos. This was a no-brainer for me! It would give me the opportunity to say thank you to the guys for taking care of me in my hour of need.
We can so often forget that when we are in need of medical attention, the first point of contact is a paramedic, and of course once they have handed over to the hospital they are moved onto their next emergency, more often than not they don’t get to find out the outcome of the people they help, and this must be frustrating, but I guess that’s the way it works. Having the opportunity to catch up and tell them that I am recovering really well was, I guess nice for them, as well as me.
I had a fantastic couple of hours with the lads, a great chat and I have to admit that the photo session was at times hysterical. Gareth, yes you really need to not to look at the camera when you are told not to haha! Saying that I’m not sure any of us are used to being photographed so much in the space of 30 minutes.
My admiration and respect for the paramedics of the Welsh Ambulance service is huge. They do a very tough job that I wouldn’t be able to do. They are often abused and treated disrespectfully when they are only there to help and to have to put up with people being rude is just unacceptable. It takes a very special person with qualities that most of us don’t possess, caring about people and always with a smile on their face.
I felt very privileged to meet up with Gareth, Roger and Dan to say thank you, because that evening you really did save my life. As I walked away from our meet-up the other day the emotion got the better of me and I shed a few tears, realising that without them it could have been a completely different story. I will be eternally thankful and grateful.
Please remember next time you see negative press reports of the Ambulance service which happens far too often I might add. Remember this! Without the dedicated men and women that are paramedics on the front line of the ambulance service, we might not get the care that at some point we all need in our lives at hospital. They are our first point of contact when it comes to helping us theough difficult times due to ill health. Please show them the respect they deserve.
Check out! The Welsh Ambulance service website