A bus driver says a colleague saved his life by rushing him to hospital after suffering chest pains.
Bernie MacTavish has thanked David Fields, a controller with First Eastern Counties, for getting him to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after falling ill with a blocked aorta.
Five hours later Mr MacTavish, of Gaywood Road, Lynn, was sitting up in bed at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, talking to his wife Linda, after undergoing surgery. Mr MacTavish said: “He saved my life. There is nothing else I can say apart from thank you.
“My main aorta was blocked. If David hadn’t acted when he did, things could have been very different.”
The 55-year-old driver was getting ready for a run to Lowestoft with the X1 at 5.15am on December 27 when he began to suffer chest pain.
He said: “I put it down to indigestion. It passed after a couple of minutes and I carried on with my bus checks.”
Mr MacTavish then drove down to Lynn’s bus station ready to pick up passengers when he began to feel unwell and contacted Mr Fields.
Mr MacTavish managed to get the bus back to the South Gates where he was met by Mr Fields in the van.
No passengers were on the bus at the time and another driver continued the run.
When the pair arrived at hospital’s accident and emergency entrance, an ambulance worker helped to get a wheel chair and called for a crash team.
Mr Fields, who is an advanced first aider with St John Ambulance, said: “He looked grey and his lips were blue which are signs of a heart attack.
“I knew it would be quicker to get him to hospital in the van rather than spend five minutes on the phone to the emergency services.
“We are trained in St John to deal with this kind of thing but it is harder if it is someone you know.”
Father-of-two Mr MacTavish was later transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for surgery.
He was in hospital for four days before being discharged and hopes to return to work shortly. But the story did not end well for Mr Fields after he was clocked speeding in Gayton Road on the way back.
Mr Fields, who has given 30 years’ service to the firm, was awarded the First Eastern Super Star of the month award for January.