A COOKHAM man who collapsed while playing golf has relived the “terrible ordeal” as he praises Thames Valley Air Ambulance for saving his life.

Paul Dilley was playing a round near Milton Keynes when he suddenly collapsed.

But within just 16 minutes, the highly-trained Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) crew were by his side after they were dispatched from their base at RAF Benson in south Oxfordshire.

Dr Chloe Spence and critical care paramedic Jo started to deliver urgent treatment - as Paul had suffered multiple cardiac arrests.

With his heart failing in every way, the crew fought to save his life and, en route to hospital, they had to use a defibrillator to administer 13 shocks to Paul’s heart.

Dr Chloe said Paul’s case was ‘the toughest cardiac incident’ she ever attended.

She said: “His heart was in and out of life threatening rhythms, stopping and starting requiring advanced intervention to get it to restart, all the way to hospital.

“He was as critically ill as one can be.”

After doctors operated on a blood clot blocking his heart, Paul defied the odds to survive, making a full recovery.

He is now back at work full time.

Reliving the horrifying incident, Paul said: “I was at the golf club with four colleagues, I felt good and it just came on really, really quickly.

“I then felt wheezy. I carried on walking and then felt a pain in my back. And from there I felt very faint.

“It transpires that those three characteristics are classic signs of a heart attack.

“The paramedics arrived first. They quickly then told me they would call for an air ambulance. They arrived and immediately took control of the situation.

“They started to administer shocks - I had three that I can remember. When you are receiving shocks you know this is then deteriorating into a situation that is getting worse.”

He added: “When I woke up, I felt a sense of disbelief really. I never, ever thought I would be having a heart attack.

“The head consultant came in and said ‘here’s the miracle man’. You then start to understand how lucky I was.”

Because he got such quick treatment, Paul did not suffer any brain injury.

He added: “I am so grateful to Thames Valley Air Ambulance for reaching me so quickly, acting so calmly in a chaotic situation and to everyone that battled to save my life.

“It was a terrifying ordeal and I feel incredibly lucky to be alive.

“I am under no illusion that without the incredible skill and emergency treatment I received, I would not be alive today. I am looking forward to helping them in any way I can.”