How a Chipping Sodbury police officer's life was saved after a heart attack on duty

May 23 2019
How a Chipping Sodbury police officer's life was saved after a heart attack on duty

A POLICE officer who had a heart attack at Chipping Sodbury police station has been reunited with the group of more than 20 people who helped save his life.

Ben Perrin, 44, felt unwell when he returned to Chipping Sodbury police station in the High Street on March 17 this year.

Shortly afterwards colleagues found him unconscious and not breathing. They did CPR and used a defibrillator and he was taken to hospital. But that was only the start of the fight to save his life.

Ben had a severe pulmonary haemorrhage – bleeding on the lungs – and a second cardiac arrest.

He then developed potentially lethal sepsis and a type of pneumonia, and had to be put into an induced coma for three weeks. The odds were stacked against him, but he survived.

Now just over two months after the emergency that almost claimed his life Ben has recovered.

He was invited to the Avon and Somerset police headquarters in Portishead to meet all the police, ambulance and hospital teams who responded to the emergency call out.

Ben said: “I can’t even remember going to work that day. But I feel like I’m the luckiest man on earth. I shouldn’t be here – I should have died.

“I’m very grateful for all the care I received from everyone including my colleagues.

“If you find someone unconscious and not breathing, stay calm and call 999 for an ambulance. And try CPR because you can’t make the situation any worse.”

Ben Perrin with police colleagues who helped save his life

Ben with the police colleagues who helped save his life

It was PC Nathan Sollis, a close friend of Ben’s, who did CPR and used the defibrillator.

Nathan said: “The adrenaline took over, and we got on with it until the ambulance crews took over.

“We were told he wasn’t going to recover. It was difficult to comprehend what had happened to a very good friend.

“But he managed to pull through. Ben’s a miracle man!”

South Western Ambulance Service operations officer Rhys Griffiths was one of the first responders to arrive.

He said: “Ben is a success story, where early intervention from his colleagues no doubt saved his life. Without their rapid actions, Ben’s story may have been different.

“Police staff laid a great foundation for SWASFT to continue resuscitation and utilise our advanced treatment. They deserve much praise for their swift actions on the night of his cardiac arrest.”

Ben Perrin with paramedics

Ben Perrin with paramedics

The team of over 20 responders included paramedic land crews, specialist cardiac arrest paramedics, and critical care team from the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), who all made continued efforts to resuscitate Ben.

Rhys added: “This was an ultimate team effort from police, hospital staff, air ambulance and ambulance staff.”

Ben was treated at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Ben Perrin with hospital staff

Ben Perrin with hospital staff

The hospital’s clinical chair of surgery, Dr Sanjoy Shah, said: “Ben suffered a cardiac arrest and his survival is a testament to the teamwork of the SWASFT team and the Bristol Royal Infirmary emergency department, cardiac catheter labs and intensive care unit teams.

He was critically ill, however with excellent care and a huge amount of hard work and determination from the staff, Ben, his family and his police colleagues, we're delighted that he has recovered so well.

We’re thrilled with Ben’s recovery and wish him all the best for the future.”


Ben Perrin with air ambulance team

Ben Perrin with the air ambulance team