LOOKING gratefully at nurse Sam Dorkings, Vince Wylde knows he owes his life to her.
Thanks to her quick thinking – along with the lifesaving actions of other medical staff – the 41-year-old is on the mend after suffering from a cardiac arrest during the Great South Run.
Vince, of Funtley Hill, Funtley, Fareham, had covered nine miles of the 10-mile course in Southsea when he collapsed.
Seeing what happened, off-duty cardiac nurse Sam, 26, who was also taking part in the run, went over to help revive him.
Vince, who works landscaping gardens and laying driveways, was reunited with Sam at Queen Alexandra Hospital, where she works.
‘I don’t know what caused the cardiac arrest and I can’t remember starting the race,’ he said.
‘I’ve been told that I collapsed by the nine-mile mark.’
Scores of people saw the dramatic moment Vince fell to the ground in Clarence Esplanade. Paramedics from St John Ambulance were first on the scene and they started CPR resuscitation.
Sam, who works on the ward where Vince is recovering, stopped running to help.
She said: ‘I was running my first race and I saw him on the floor with two St John Ambulance guys.
‘I said to them that I could give them a hand because I’m a cardiac nurse.
‘They had already started CPR and there was another off-duty paramedic and consultant that came over to help.
‘I went over because it’s my job and I wasn’t thinking about the race any more.
‘I made sure he was in an ambulance and that he was breathing.’
Vince was taken to QA, where he was in a coma for three days.
‘I’ve done the race four times before and I usually complete it in about 80 minutes,’ added Vince.
‘It’s a strange feeling – I realise how close I was to being a goner. I want to say thank you to Sam, to the paramedics and the hospital team, because without them I wouldn’t be here today.’
Vince’s partner Verity Tower, 30, is also grateful.
The HR advisor said: ‘He was in a coma for three days and it was horrible.
‘But looking at him now, it’s like it never happened. He’s walking and talking fine.
‘I think the medical team are remarkable people, and they have not only saved his life, but his personality as well. It sounds cheesy, but it’s a miracle.’