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Officer reunited with the colleagues and NHS staff who saved his life after his cardiac arrest on duty

Ben and his family with the officers and NHS staff who saved his life
Ben and his family with the officers and NHS staff who saved his life Image copyright SWASFT

We were delighted to help one of our officers meet up with the colleagues and NHS staff who saved his life when his heart stopped twice.

PC Ben Perrin had a sudden cardiac arrest on the evening of Sunday 17 March, after attending an incident.

Ben felt unwell after returning to Chipping Sodbury police station. Soon afterwards colleagues found him unconscious and not breathing. PCs Nathan Sollis, Ryan Thomas and Katie Etherton, pictured below, called 999, did CPR, and used the station defibrillator to get his heart beating again.

PCs Ryan Thomas, Ben Perrin, Nathan Sollis and Katie Etherton
PCs Ryan Thomas, Ben Perrin, Nathan Sollis and Katie Etherton

In hospital Ben had a second cardiac arrest – but went on to make an extraordinary recovery.

On Tuesday 21 May he and his family made a special visit to our headquarters in Portishead to meet – and thank – those who responded to the emergency.

Ben said: “I can’t even remember going to work that day. But I feel like I’m the luckiest man on earth. I shouldn’t be here; I should have died. I’m very grateful for all the care I received from everyone including my colleagues.”

He added: “If you find someone unconscious and not breathing, stay calm and call 999 for an ambulance. And try CPR because you can’t make the situation any worse.”

Ben’s recovery ‘an ultimate team effort’

Rhys Griffiths, South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust Operations Officer, was one of the first responders to the incident.

He said: “Ben’s is a success story where early intervention from his colleagues no doubt saved his life. Without their rapid actions, Ben’s story may have been different. His police colleagues deserve much praise for their swift actions on the night of his cardiac arrest.

“This was an ultimate team effort from police, hospital staff, air ambulance and ambulance staff. We all train and educate ourselves to a high level, and it is always an incredible feeling to be involved in making such a huge difference for a patient.”

SWASFT Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Sigourney Keyte, pictured far left below, talked the officers through the basic life support procedure.

A team including paramedic land crews, specialist cardiac arrest support tier (CAST) paramedics, and a critical care team from Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) provided advanced life support in a continued effort to resuscitate Ben.
Paramedics transported him to hospital by ambulance in a critical condition.

After being in an induced coma for three weeks, he is continuing his recovery at home.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair Andrew Roebuck said: “Ben’s story is remarkable in every aspect. This brave officer has survived not only with his own determination, but from the professionalism, dedication and care that his colleagues and the NHS gave him. Their collective work is tremendous and we should be proud of each and every one of them. I cannot express enough our gratitude for each professional involved with saving Ben’s life. Ben can now spend time with his family. We look forward to his return to work when he is fit and able.”

Find out how to carry out CPR on the NHS website