‘You saved my life’: Announcer reunited with heroes
A Coast radio announcer who survived a deadly heart attack has been able to say thank you to the paramedics who saved his life in an emotional reunion.
Hot 91 radio announcer Sam Coward just scraped into the 20 per cent of people who survive the type of heart attack he suffered on September 9.
Mr Coward said he couldn't thank paramedics Joshua Tunley and Rick Kirkpatrick enough for saving his life.
"It was a really lovely moment, I couldn't sing their praises highly enough from the moment it happened until now, but to meet them again and to tell them face-to-face you saved my life, you don't get that chance a lot of times," he said.
"I'm very lucky not only to go through what I went through with them but also to have the level of their skill and professionalism that saved my life."
The two paramedics surprised Mr Coward during his breakfast show on Monday morning.
As an advanced care paramedic, Mr Tunley said he was thankful to see Mr Coward recovering well.
"His type of heart attack … was quite global, very significant with (a) very high mortality rate but lucky for Sam he was lucky to pull through," he said.
"All were called to a 40-year-old male that was having chest pain and we were lucky enough to find Sam crouched over his car very unwell looking and from there on we did our best to help him."
Mr Coward livestreamed his transfer through the hospital emergency ward while he was having the attack, but was left in no doubt to the seriousness of his health situation.
"I was nervous and you're pooping yourself with everything going on, but the level of professionalism is just so significant, and it makes it serious and the more serious something is the less serious I want to be … but you feel so safe," he said.
"So, I could d--k around and tell jokes because the guys had it covered."
Mr Kirkpatrick said not many patients reacted the way Mr Coward did while having a heart attack.
"We go to a lot of critically ill patients, Josh and I, and out of all the critically ill patients we've been to none of them have talked as much as Sam," he said.
"I was quite impressed."
Mr Coward had experienced chest pain a week prior to his heart attack, but disregarded it as indigestion, something Mr Tunley urged others not to do.
"My advice would be (with) any type of chest pain, make sure you're checked up by us or the hospital if you have any type of symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath, extra sweating or nausea, any funny feelings in your left arm or in your left shoulder or in your jaw, they are all warning signs," he said.
"Age has no say in heart attacks, you could be 40 years old or you could be 70 or 25, it doesn't matter."
Mr Coward, who said he felt stronger and fitter than he did before the attack, was extremely thankful to the paramedics and also the community for their outpouring of support.
"The community support was weird and really humbling … I felt undeserving to be honest," he said.
"I don't think a lot of things seriously, but this was a serious thing that had happened and my way of coping is to try and avoid (it), so the outpouring from people was something that was completely unexpected and very humbling."