A PENSIONER who suffered a heart attack behind the wheel of his car says he is “forever grateful” to the firefighters who managed to save his life.

Jon Lindsey, 74, was driving out of Harwich Hospital, in Main Road, Dovercourt, with his wife, Sandra, when he suffered a major heart attack.

Mr Lindsey said: “I ended up going straight into someone’s garden opposite the hospital and somehow missed all the traffic and any pedestrians.”

After the crash a witness called the emergency services and within about three minutes a crew from Dovercourt Fire Station arrived at the scene.

About 20 minutes later two ambulances arrived as well as the air ambulance.

Mr Lindsey was then airlifted to the specialist cardiac unit at Basildon and Thurrock Hospital.

Mr Lindsey, of Louvain Road, Dovercourt, said he could not remember much of the incident.

He said: “I was airlifted to Basildon Hospital where I was medically induced into a coma for three days because of the severity of my heart attack.

“The lads from the fire brigade are the main reason I survived as they kept me alive before the ambulances arrived.”

The four firefighters, who were first on the scene, used their defibrillator three times on Mr Lindsey.

Their quick intervention kept Mr Lindsey alive before the paramedics arrived and he was airlifted to the hospital.

The pensioner said: “The firefighters were there within minutes and I was a very lucky man and was able to be taken to hospital.

“The staff at the hospital were fantastic too.”

Mr Lindsey had to spend four weeks in the hospital following his heart attack.

On his release from hospital Mr Lindsey visited Dovercourt Fire Station to personally thank the crew who saved his life.

He said: “With much gratitude I would like to personally thank all those who assisted when I fell ill at the wheel of my car.

“Those of you at the scene, the first responders, the emergency services and the Essex Air Ambulance collectively saved my life.

“Thank you to all who have continued to support me through this difficult time. Your calls, messages, thoughts and cards mean so much.

“I would also like to thank my family who have been by my side every day.

“I shall be forever grateful.

“After a month in hospital I am finally home and recovering nicely.

“Thank you all.”