24th Sep, 2020

Professor reflects on 'second chance at life' on anniversary of being treated by air ambulance

Laura Kearns 10th Aug, 2020 Updated: 10th Aug, 2020

A UNIVERSITY professor has reflected on his ‘second chance at life’ on the anniversary of being treated by the air ambulance.

Coventry University professor Ralph Kenna was put into an induced coma nearly three years ago on August 12 by the the local air ambulance crew who went to his assistance when he had a cardiac arrest in the street near his Rugby home.

Passers-by gave him CPR before Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance arrived at the scene.

The 55-year-old said: “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about what happened. I was given a second chance at life and I survived against the odds.

Ralph says he will be forever indebted to those who helped him and to date he has raised nearly £3,000 for the charity by taking on a sponsored half marathon and fund-raising abseil.

He said: “I will do anything I can to help the charity that saved my life. If it wasn’t for people giving donations to keep the helicopters flying then I would not have survived.”

The air ambulance critical care doctor and paramedic put Ralph into an induced coma at the scene to give him the best chance of his heart and brain being able to recover and repair. This reduces the risk of long term or permanent side effects in the hope the patient makes a full recovery.

The crew then accompanied him in the land ambulance to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

Ralph was in a coma for four days and spent seven weeks in hospital. He lost his memory, which took a while to return, and it was six months before he was well enough to make a phased return to work.

He says the incident has given him ‘renewed faith in people that do good’.

Ralph added: “The local air ambulance is a charity which receives no government funding for its daily missions, so its very existence relies on each and every one of us. Who knows, your own very existence may one day rely on them.”

Visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk or call 0300 3045 999 to donate or find out more.

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