A GRANDFATHER brought back to life after being shocked 15 times with a defibrillator is reunited with the paramedic he owes his future to.
The moments between an ambulance being called for David Walkden, now 81, to waking up in Basildon Hospital two days later had only been relived through his wife Christine's distressing memories.
The pair were watching the Grand Prix at their home in Thorpe-le-Soken on November 27 last year when David suddenly began suffering severe chest pains and giddiness.
He was having a heart attack.
Paramedic Sheena Bumphrey and emergency care assistant Jason Purvis were first on the scene.
A cannula was inserted in Mr Walkden's arm, he was given morphine and wheeled into the ambulance.
On the way to Basildon, his condition began to plummet.
Paramedic Sheena said: “He told me his pain level was around one out of ten and was talking to me perfectly normally. Then he suddenly went into cardiac arrest - it completely threw me.”
They pulled over and both her and Jason began performing CPR on Mr Walkden, as well as shocking his heart 15 times before he was resuscitated and stabilised.
Backup then arrived in a second ambulance with paramedic Lou Wheatley and emergency care assistant Victoria Everett, plus duty locality officer Steven Keating.
Mr Walkden was in cardiac arrest for more than 15 minutes.
She added: “It was the most amount of shocks I’ve done successfully on a patient before.”
Two stents were fitted into Mr Walkden's heart at Basildon Hospital's Primary Pre-cutaneous Coronary Intervention centre, where he remained for ten days.
His four children and three grandchildren aged seven to 28 hurried to his bedside from as far afield as Portsmouth after doctors said he may not make it past 24 hours.
Mr Walkden says being alive today is proof of the medics' exceptional care.
Speechless - David Walkden hugs paramedic Sheena Bumphrey
He said: "I feel very humbled I'm still here. They did that for me so what can I do for them is what I ask myself.
"I've never had heart problems before and am pretty fit so for me to say I feel unwell is unusual.
"My wife went through hell and high water in the back of the ambulance, it was rather traumatic.
"I hadn't asked her in any great detail what happened but little by little she came up with little remembrances, which I thought was the best way to handle it."
Mr Walkden and Sheena shared hugs at an emotional reunion initiated by the paramedic when she received a thank you card from the family.
Speaking at Mr Walkden's home, Sheena said: “This is a job that will live with me forever. I honestly thought he wouldn’t survive.
"To see him today is a testament to his strength and the excellent team effort of all those involved on the day.
"After we handed him over to hospital staff, I couldn’t stop thinking about him so it’s been lovely to see him again looking so well.”
Doctors were amazed by Mr Walkden's recovery.
His near-death experience also kickstarted an even healthier lifestyle which involves less sugar, salt and fat, but increased gratitude.
He added: "I owe my life, technology and people such a lot. I made a list recently of how many people I have to thank and got halfway through when I realised so many people have helped me get as far as I am, so now it's up to me.
"I don't take anything for granted and make sure I don't put things aside or take silly chances say when I'm driving.
"My granddaughter who's 25 said it's taught her to value what we have in life.
"The words 'thank you' doesn't seem enough for what they've give me which is sheer life."