It started as a normal Monday morning for Alan. He got up, made his 12-year-old daughter Briony her breakfast and ironed her school uniform. They had a chat about everything and nothing. At 7.30am he gave her a kiss and said “I’ll see you tonight when I get home”.
Briony walked to the bus stop to go to school. During the afternoon Alan got a phone call from Sir John Leman High School in Beccles to say Briony had fallen in the playground, hit her head and the air ambulance was on scene. The school asked him to get there as soon as possible.
Alan said: “I don’t even remember driving there. When I arrived a Policewoman tried to calm me down. Seeing Briony on the stretcher, I thought the worst. I was then told she had a cardiac arrest.”
Anglia One had been tasked from Norwich by the ambulance service and Critical Care Paramedic Chris Neil, Doctor Haris Begovic and supervising Doctor Marcel Rigaud were all on scene treating Briony. The medical crew administered a general anaesthetic to Briony, provided specialist pre-hospital care treatment, managed her airways and provided enhanced life support – essentially putting her into an induced coma to protect her brain.
The emergency services were called at 15:24 and the air ambulance was activated at 15:31. They were at Briony’s side at 15:48. The 24 minutes waiting for the air ambulance to arrive were crucial. The teachers gave Briony immediate CPR to keep her blood circulating to her brain and EEAST used a defibrillator to resuscitate her heart on arrival. When Briony’s heart had restarted, she was flown with her dad in Anglia One to Addenbrooke’s Hospital being cared for by the EAAA medical team.
Briony went straight in to have a CT scan, but it was delayed because she had another cardiac arrest in hospital. After an hour the doctors were able to complete the scan. She was then transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Briony eventually had a pacemaker fitted. She left hospital after five weeks.
“A big big thank you to the EAAA. Without your dedication and commitment to Briony and all the other people you attend, many wouldn’t be here today. We, as many other families, are indebted to you all.” Alan, Father