Man reunited with SAS staff who saved his life

An Arbroath man who had a cardiac arrest after a game of squash four years ago has been reunited with the crew who saved his life.
​Mal (centre), pictured with Kerry, Keith, Darren and Emma.​Mal (centre), pictured with Kerry, Keith, Darren and Emma.
​Mal (centre), pictured with Kerry, Keith, Darren and Emma.

Mal Adams, 58, was at Dundee University Sports Centre when he started to feel unwell after what his friend described as his “best ever game”.

Within moments, he suffered a cardiac arrest. Staff members at the sports centre immediately performed CPR, while a 999 call was placed to the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), answered by Trainee Technician Emma Gray, who was working as a call handler at the time at SAS’s East Ambulance Control Centre (ACC).

The two staff members used a nearby defibrillator, while Emma gave instructions over the phone. A Community First Responder also attended and provided assistance until the first ambulance crew arrived.

An ambulance crew was dispatched by Darren Morrison - now working as a technician at Bathgate - and he allocated two emergency resources; Paramedics Kerry Sweeney and Keith Dickinson from Crieff, having just cleared a job at Ninewells and arrived within four minutes, and Paramedic Michelle Bond from Monifieth.

Mal spent the next three months in hospital, both in Ninewells and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee, before he returned home to continue his recovery.

After making good progress over the last few years, the dad of three reached out to SAS and recently met Kerry, Keith, Darren and Emma at Dundee Ambulance Station and presented them each with a certificate of appreciation.

Mal, an assembly technician, said: “They absolutely saved my life and I will be forever grateful for that. I know they will say they were just doing their job, but the attention they pay to the patient is great – it was a real organised team effort.”

Speaking of the incident in February 2019, Mal said: “When I met the sports centre staff and they filled in some blanks with the story. One of them said, ‘you will not believe this, the day before this happened, we had only just finished our training with the defib. It’s so important to learn CPR.”

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