Wirral man’s life saved by local Team NWAS volunteer

Cardiac arrest survivor, 72-year-old Bill Halliday from Wallasey has been reunited with our community first responder (CFR) who helped save his life.

Earlier this year, Bill’s wife Ann called 999 after he was feeling unwell with severe chest pains all day. CFR Chris Pentecost was quickly dispatched along with an ambulance crew.

Chris, who volunteers for the ambulance service  to attend emergencies in the local area, was about a mile and a half away from Chris’ home and arrived within a couple of minutes.

Whilst Chris was conducting his medical assessments, Bill went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Chris used his defibrillator to shock Bill and carry out chest compressions to keep his heart pumping blood around his body. The ambulance crew and a rapid response ambulance arrived on scene soon after and together worked with Chris to help save Bill’s life.

Bill was taken to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital where he had three stents in his heart fitted and was discharged home after three days. Bill is now at home recuperating and doing well.

Ann said, “The consultant who operated on Bill told him that he definitely had a guardian angel watching over him that day, and we believe it was Chris.”

Sometime after, Bill’s son contacted NWAS as Bill and his wife Ann wanted to meet up with CFR Chris. Arrangements were made quickly, and the meeting took place at Ann and Bill’s home.

It was an emotional meeting for everyone and helped fill in some of the gaps for Bill. Bill said, “Thank you to Chris and the rest of the team so very much! It’s an unbelievable job you’re doing! Many, many thanks. We wanted to share our story to thank NWAS, its CFR scheme, and the NHS for saving my life.”

Chris works as part of Wirral CFR Team which has 14 CFRs, some of which have specialist training and are eCFRs. He has been a CFR for over four years, after retiring from Wirral Council. When Chris is on shift responding, he covers Wallasey, Birkenhead, and Moreton.

Chris said, “I love being a CFR supporting NWAS patients and ambulance crews. It can be very challenging at times but as a volunteer, I feel that I always get back much more than I give as part of Team NWAS.

“Knowing that you have started the process of saving a life is uniquely special, but I was part of a team that day with the ambulance and response vehicle crew who arrived shortly after me and NHS hospital staff providing critical care for Bill.

“Most of the jobs I go to are less dramatic, but all are people who are having a very bad day who need some care and compassion. They always seem so relieved when we arrive.”

“It was lovely to meet Bill and his family and quite emotional to sit with them and appreciate how they feel about the extra time they have been given together.”

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