Matthew Ling

Read Matthew's story, written by his mother, Sue Ling.

Four years ago, on 25 August 2016, my son Matthew, aged 19, collapsed suddenly at home having suffered a tension pneumothorax, which is a very sudden collapsed lung (very rare and downright unlucky!). He then went into cardiac arrest and died in front of me. I spent what seemed a lifetime carrying out CPR before a total of 15 medical professionals and, subsequently, an incredible team from the East Anglian Air Ambulance arrived.

From EAAA, Doctor Karen Rhodes, Critical Care Paramedic Rob Riches and Supervisor Doctor Sophia De Maria came to help. Opening up his chest on both sides, they operated on him for an hour and a half on my bedroom floor, eventually managing to get him to Addenbrooke’s and to Critical Care. I was very aware that Matthew had been clinically dead on and off for 40 minutes in total, and that should he survive, he may well be left with serious brain damage.

After a very scary week, Matthew was slowly brought around and despite a rocky start, to the absolute incredulity of every Dr and Consultant, after a few weeks made a miraculous recovery! He was then admitted to Papworth Hospital where he underwent two major operations on his lungs. Much to my horror, he went back to university and his Engineering degree very quickly afterwards and I was left (a jibbering wreck) wondering how I could say thank you to the heroes that had saved his life!

As Christmas approached, I wrote a ‘Thank You Poem’ and sent it to all involved. EAAA contacted me immediately as they were unaware of the outcome and that Matthew had survived. We all had a very emotional meeting – tears were shed by all. 

I am incredibly proud to say that despite his trauma, Matthew carried on at university and graduated with an Honours Degree in Engineering. He was then head-hunted by a 3D printing company in the Czech Republic and has been living and working in Prague as an Automation Engineer. Due to the CV19 situation, sadly we haven’t been able to get together with Matthew for nearly a year now, but he is well and happy and we are hopeful that he may be able to come home for Christmas. 

Together we save lives