Arctic veteran praises NHS after heart scare

Commander Eddie Grenfell at The Royal Naval War Memorial on Southsea Common
Commander Eddie Grenfell at The Royal Naval War Memorial on Southsea Common
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ARCTIC Convoy veteran Commander Eddie Grenfell has praised doctors who helped save his life after he suffered a heart attack.

Cdr Grenfell, 92, was taken ill after a ceremony in Whitchurch, north Hampshire, where he received a medal from residents for his bravery during the Second World War.

As previously reported, two nurses who were at the scene rushed to his aid and he was revived by paramedics before being taken by ambulance to the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

Cdr Grenfell, from Portsea, was treated on the coronary care unit and discharged from hospital on Thursday after five days in hospital.

He said: ‘It was quite serious. As a matter of fact my heart stopped for two minutes.

‘I wasn’t conscious of it but they had to use electric shock treatment to get my heart going again.

‘When I arrived in the hospital I was in a bad way but I must say that the NHS is absolutely wonderful. I think they were absolutely tremendous.

‘I would like to thank everyone who helped to care for me.’

Cdr Grenfell survived the bombing of his ship, the Empire Lawrence, in 1942 and spent 10 minutes in the icy waters before being rescued.

He has fought tirelessly for recognition in the form of a medal for the 66,000 heroes who served in the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War.

The convoys delivered supplies to Russia between 1941 and 1945.

During their trips to ports in the Arctic Circle, 3,000 of their comrades died.

Cdr Grenfell, who has led the Arctic Medal campaign since launching it in 1997, now says he plans to take things a little easier.

He added: ‘I have been pretty fit all my life. I have had a couple of heart scares before but they weren’t so very bad.

‘I’m in my 93rd year, before this happened I just had a feeling I was going to go on forever. Now I know I’m not as strong as I thought I was. I do realise that I have to take it easy.’

Cdr Grenfell’s daughter Trudie said: ‘It’s wonderful to have him home. I will be happy when he gets a little more energy back and is back a bit to his normal self.’