Heart attack victim recalls dramatic brush with death

The happiest man alive: Paul Edwards (centre) with son Elliott (5) and  owner Graeme Midgley at Uno's Pizzeria and Bistro in Horncastle.
The happiest man alive: Paul Edwards (centre) with son Elliott (5) and owner Graeme Midgley at Uno's Pizzeria and Bistro in Horncastle.

Paul Edwards looked into the eyes of the paramedic and pleaded: “I can’t leave my little boy...I don’t want to die.”

The 34-year-old was travelling in the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance at the height of the chaos caused by the ‘Beast from the East.’

He’d suffered a heart attack and with all roads out of Horncastle blocked by snow, his only hope was the ‘Ambucopter’.

Pilots braved the snow-laden skies to land just off Lincoln Road.

They flew Mr Edwards to Lincoln County Hospital where surgeons performed a life-saving operation.

Mr Edwards admits he owes everything to the people who played a part in a day he’ll never ever forget.

The drama started when he tried to drive from his home in Tattershall to his work at Uno’s Pizzeria and Bistro in Horncastle.

The A153 between Tattershall and Coningsby was impassable so he attempted a route via back roads.

He explains: “I got as far as Roughton when my car got stuck in a drift.

“There was no-one else around. I managed to shove the car out of the drift and thought I’d pulled a muscle in my back.”

Somehow - he can’t quite remember how - he made it to Horncastle.

In pain from what he thought was his damaged back, he walked to Heron’s, just off the Market Place.

He adds: “A women member of staff kept saying I didn’t look well and could she help,

“She wanted to call an ambulance but I said I just wanted a bottle of water.”

Mr Edwards left the shop without paying and went back to Uno’s - a 200 yard walk along Bridge Street and West Street.

There, he collapsed in a chair.

By now, he realised it wasn’t a pulled muscle.

Fortunately, Uno owner Graeme Midgley and his wife Naomi recognised the seriousness of the situation.

They called 999 and the first responders on the scene were two members of Horncastle’s fire crew.

Within minutes, they were joined by Doctor Simon Topham from LIVES and St John’s Ambulance volunteers.

It was Dr Topham who called the Air Ambulance.

Mr Edwards explained: “I was really scared. It was the second heart attack I’ve had.

“My first was three days before my 31st birthday.

“The surgeon then told me if I had another (heart attack) I’d die.

“That’s why I was so scared.

“I thought I was going to die.

“I can remember being in the ‘Helimed’ and there was a paramedic. Her name was Jane.

“I looked at her and said: ‘I can’t leave my little boy. Please, I don’t want to die.’”

Mr Edwards reveals he kept thinking about his fiancée Kim and son Elliott (5).

He added: “My own dad died from a heart attack at the age of 43. I never really got to know him.

“It was always at the back of my mind the same would happen to me.

“I didn’t want Elliott and Kim to go through the same. They mean everything to me. They’re my world, my life.”