Press Release

21/03/2011
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JCB’s bob says thanks to life-saving first responder
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JCB Service Manager Bob Whyte today said a big thank you to a Staffordshire medic who brought him back to life – by presenting him with a £500 cheque.

Bob, 60, collapsed at his doctors’ surgery in Rocester and his heart stopped for several minutes. Medical staff worked hard to revive him and called 999.

Within minutes, Anthony Coates, a trained volunteer with the Dove Valley Community First Responders, arrived and after five attempts was able to restart Bob’s heart with the help of a defibrillator. Bob was then rushed to hospital by air ambulance and later had successful quadruple heart bypass surgery.
Now Bob has said thank you by donating £250 to the Dove Valley Community First Responders – a figure doubled to £500 by JCB.

Bob said: “I can honestly say that I was dead on the floor of the doctor’s surgery. If the first responder had not been there I wouldn’t be here now. Without a doubt he saved my life and I can’t put into words how grateful I am.”

Bob, who is married and has two children and a stepson, is Regional Service Manager for JCB Australia and has been based in Melbourne for the last two years. However, he had travelled to the UK last October to attend business meetings at JCB’s World HQ when he was taken ill.

Bob said: “I suffered from a bit of high blood pressure but had forgotten to bring my medication with me. I was feeling washed out when I arrived in the UK, but just put it down to the fact I had been travelling for 30 hours. I went to the doctors to get a prescription and have a check up. Afterwards, as I stood up to put on my jacket, I collapsed hitting my head against the desk.

“I don’t remember the rest but I am told that Anthony arrived within minutes and after several attempts was able to resuscitate me.

Bob is now recuperating at home in Denstone but plans to return to Australia when he receives the all clear from doctors.

Dove Valley Community First Responder is a volunteer group set up in 2006 to respond to emergencies in the community. It relies solely on donations from the general public to help keep it running. All volunteers are special trained and have certification in pre-hospital care for medical emergencies.

First Responder Anthony, whose “day job” is a farmhand at Abbotsholme Private School, in Rocester, said: “I had just finished for the day when I got the emergency call through. I followed procedure and used the defibrillator. After shocking him five times I managed to restart his heart and by the time he was being taken away in the air ambulance he was already semi-conscious.”

Married with two grown up daughters, Anthony, of Rocester, added: “It is really good of Bob and JCB to donate the money. We do rely on donations and need thousands of pounds every year to keep going, so this is very welcome.”

Picture caption (from left to right) : Bob Whyte & Anthony Coates (Co-ordinator: Dove Valley Community First Responders).
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