Man praises staff after suffering a cardiac arrest in hospital restaurant

THANK YOU: Jerry Gledhill (second from right), with his wife Katherine and the hospital staff who all worked together to save his life

A man has heaped praise on staff at Benenden Hospital for saving his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest in the hospital’s restaurant.

Jerry Gledhill was visiting the private hospital near Cranbrook with his wife, who was there for bilateral cataract surgery, on April 3. While they were ordering food in the busy on-site restaurant, Jerry collapsed.

The restaurant staff reacted swiftly, with members of the catering team being the first to administer CPR, while a colleague phoned an ambulance call handler. The hospital’s emergency response team attended quickly with resuscitation equipment and a defibrillator.

It was 40 minutes before Jerry’s pulse returned. Once stabilised, an air ambulance team airlifted the critically ill man to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford for further intensive care treatment.

Jerry, a former GP, said that beyond entering the restaurant, he remembered nothing of the incident. A month after the event, he and his wife returned to the hospital to thank the staff who had saved his life.

Jerry said: “I just can’t find the words to express my gratitude. The words haven’t even been invented yet. If you’re going to have a medical emergency, this is the place to do it! I just want to credit everyone involved and thank them so much for persevering.”

Hospital Director, Jane Abbott said: “We’re delighted that Jerry made a good recovery and was able to return to visit us and meet many of the people involved in his immediate care.

“At Benenden Hospital we don’t regularly deal with medical emergencies, but our workforce is very well trained, does scenario training to hone their skills and prepare them for the unexpected, and we have all the necessary equipment readily available should we need it.

“They worked so well as a team and used their knowledge and skills to save Jerry’s life. Every single person involved on the day was amazing, and I’m so proud of all of them.”

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