Lionel's heart-felt thanks to ambulance officers who saved his life

Lionel Huggett and his wife Diane with ambulance officers Kara West, Matthew White, Kevin Watts and Luke Randall all smiles a few months on from Lionel's heart attack.
Lionel Huggett and his wife Diane with ambulance officers Kara West, Matthew White, Kevin Watts and Luke Randall all smiles a few months on from Lionel's heart attack.

"I'm a very, very lucky boy," Lionel Huggett says as he looks around the station at the ambulance officers who saved his life.

The Forbes resident had a heart attack on November 28 last year and went into cardiac arrest.

On Friday he got to reunite with the local ambulance officers who responded to the 000 call that day.

"I remember getting my wife to ring up, I remember the ambulance getting there," Mr Huggett recalled.

"Thank God they were there. I died on my loungeroom floor. They got me back, then I died again, and they got me back again."

There are precious few flashes of memory between Diane's call to emergency services and when Mr Huggett woke up in Orange hospital following surgery to insert a stent.

But two weeks later he was home again, and last Friday he was thrilled to have the opportunity to reunite with and say thank you to the ambulance officers.

They met up at Forbes Ambulance Station for a special luncheon.

Luke Randall and Kara West were first to arrive at the Huggetts' home last November 28.

They determined that Mr Huggett was having a heart attack and called the second crew, Matt White and Kevin Watts. They also worked in phone consultation with the cardiology team in Orange.

Mr Huggett is extremely grateful to them, also to the doctors and staff who attended him in the Forbes Hospital emergency department before transfer to Orange.

Conditions were stormy that evening and a helicopter couldn't attend, the Forbes ambulance was met by a retrieval team on the road to Orange.

"I'm very lucky that this team were knowledgeable, they knew what they were doing," Mr Huggett said on Friday. "It means a lot to come back, it's something you can't repay, you can say thank you a million times but it's not enough."

"A thank you is more than enough," ambulance officer Kara West assured him.

NSW Ambulance advises signs of a heart attack include experiencing tightness, squeezing, heaviness, discomfort or pain in your chest, arms, shoulders, neck, jaw and back. You may also have difficulty breathing, feel cold, sweaty, dizzy or light-headed, or nauseous.

Lionel Hugget and his wife Dianne with ambulance officers Kara West, Matthew White, Kevin Watts and Luke Randall.

Lionel Hugget and his wife Dianne with ambulance officers Kara West, Matthew White, Kevin Watts and Luke Randall.