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Patient Embarks on 3,000 mile Round Trip to Thank Lifesavers

18 August 2016

A patient is travelling from Italy to Hull to meet the team who saved his life when he suffered a cardiac arrest while on holiday.

Alfredo Cantoni collapsed on board P&O Ferries' Pride of York which was about to leave for Zeebrugge from King George Dock in Hull in May.

Quick-thinking Jason Moore, On Board Services Manager, with support from his colleagues, used cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a defibrillator to save Mr Cantoni's life.

The team from Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) - Clinical Supervisor Steve Johnson, Paramedics Matt Dearing and Andy Brayshaw-Brown and Emergency Care Assistant Ian Carter - were then able to stabilise Alfredo before taking him to Hull Royal Infirmary.

Mr Cantoni and his wife Elizabeth will be returning to the UK to be reunited with the ferry crew and ambulance staff who saved his life on Thursday 18 August 2016 - exactly three months after his cardiac arrest and one day before his 75th birthday.

Steve Johnson is a member of YAS's Red Arrest Team which provides specific care to patients in cardiac arrest.

He said: "Jason and his colleagues thoroughly deserve to be recognised for saving Mr Cantoni's life through excellent bystander CPR and the use of a defibrillator. It's an example of the Chain of Survival working at its best - an early call for help from Mrs Cantoni, early CPR and early defibrillation, a combination of which enabled us to stabilise Mr Cantoni and take him to hospital for advanced care."

Jason recalled how he had just completed his daily pre-departure checks when his colleagues Luis Coelho and Ria Pickering were alerted to a passenger who was unconscious in his cabin. He grabbed the first aid bag and defibrillator and rushed to the scene where he found Mr Cantoni whose heart had stopped and was not breathing.

After a quick assessment, Jason began CPR and used a defibrillator. Stewardess Sara Marques was on hand to comfort Mrs Cantoni and then went to get assistance. Fellow crew members Maite Bilboa and Theresa Canter called 999, appealed for on-board medical assistance and gathered additional medical kit.

Jason said: "After five or six bouts of CPR and one shock with the defibrillator, signs of life started to return and I could see his eyelids flicker a little. Then there was a slight intake of breath and the signs of life began to get stronger and stronger. We then put Mr Cantoni on oxygen and monitored him until the very welcome sight of the ambulance service and I then knew he was going to be okay."

Mr Cantoni had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted at the Cardiology Unit at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, where he said he received incredible treatment, and within two weeks he was well enough to fly to his home in Bormio in the Italian Alps where their youngest son Michele runs the hotel that he built.

Mr and Mrs Cantoni are thrilled to be given the opportunity to be reunited with the team who saved his life.

"We are both very well and have gradually returned to an almost normal life very aware that after 50 years of marriage we are still together and able to share what life still holds in store," said Mrs Cantoni. "Alfredo is a skier and a mountaineer; he has in these last weeks accompanied groups from the hotel into the mountains trekking, just a little slower than before, he says!"

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department