Man thanks SAS for saving his life after cardiac arrest at train station: Donald Scott

16 Jan 2019

Man thanks SAS for saving his life after cardiac arrest at train station

A dad who suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of Waverley Station has offered a heartfelt thanks to the Scottish Ambulance Service crew who saved his life.

Donald Scott, 47, of Duddingston, near Portobello, was walking through the station towards the Old Town to attend a Fringe Festival show with friends.

 On the way, Donald, an accountant, collapsed in the middle of the busy station.

 Donald has spoken about the dramatic moment – still a “blur” to him - for the first time, praising Philip Chambers, Robbie Somers, and Ross Hockaday for coming to his aid.

 Donald, a father of two, said: “I was taking a shortcut through the station from Princes Street towards the Old Town to meet friends to see a show in the Edinburgh Fringe; I collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest - the rest is a blur.”

Philip, Robbie and Ross, all based at Edinburgh City Station, were quickly dispatched to the scene on August 3 (2018). The British Transport Police (BTP), already at the station, commenced initial CPR, before the Scottish Ambulance Service arrived.

 Donald’s heart was restarted and was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

 Donald added: “I woke up five or six days later with tubes sticking out. I was wondering what on earth was going on. There were all sorts of pipes everywhere and I was a bit groggy. I wondered what had happened. Doctors and nurses explained what was going on.”

 Donald said his friends, not knowing what had happened, sent him “dog’s abuse” for not arriving at the show.

 He added: “They were mortified once they heard what happened. My wife got my phone and told them I had had a cardiac arrest and was in intensive care – my friends were blown away after hearing this. I am very lucky to be alive. We saw all saw the funny side later.”

 Donald - who has had an implanted cardiac defibrillator installed “to stop any further cardiac arrests” - spent a week in ICU and was discharged on September 15.

 While in hospital, he had a second cardiac arrest on August 24 and had to have an emergency operation.

Donald recently met up with specialist paramedic Ross to thank him, as well as Philip and Robbie, for saving his life.

 He added: “It scared the living daylights out of me. I was not guaranteed to survive and my life was in the balance. I am very, very thankful and grateful to staff at ERI and for SAS.”

 Ross said: “It was really lovely to meet Donald. It is certainly not often we see patients who were so unwell have such positive outcomes. I am ecstatic that he will be home with his family for Christmas.

“The thing I remember the most is that as soon as we re-started Donald's heart, he began to take large, deep breaths immediately which is a good sign.

 “By the time we got to hospital, only about 20 minutes or so later, he was trying to sit up on the bed. Normally when we get hearts re-started the patient remains unconscious. From an ambulance perspective, he certainly made our job easy.”

Contact Information

Edward Earl

edward.earl@nhs.net