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Hellesdon dad saved by his son ignoring him

PUBLISHED: 09:13 30 December 2011

Chris Hardesty had a Christmas to remember with his wife Tina and son Danny after Danny came to the rescue when Chris had a heart attack.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Chris Hardesty had a Christmas to remember with his wife Tina and son Danny after Danny came to the rescue when Chris had a heart attack. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

A father of two from Hellesdon has described how his son helped to save his life - by ignoring his instructions for the first time.

Chris Hardesty fell ill while working in Thorpe Marriott but told his son Danny not to phone for an ambulance and to drive him home.

But it turned out Chris had actually suffered a heart attack and he believes his 21-year-old son’s decision to go against his request helped to save his life.

Yesterday Mr Hardesty, 45, spoke about that key phone call and praised the ambulance crew who brought him back to life when he had a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital.

Mr Hardesty, of Reepham Road, said: “If he had not called the ambulance when we left work I would not have been here now.

“Normally I say to him don’t do this and he takes notice of me, but he did not this time thankfully.”

On December 5 Mr Hardesty and his son were fitting a kitchen when he describes his chest going ‘dead’ and his arms feeling like ‘lead weights’.

He said: “My chest started going really dead and it was as though someone was giving me a bear hug. I did not have a clue what was going on.”

The business owner, who has previously suffered from high cholesterol, asked Danny to take him home, but told him not to phone for an ambulance and to wait to see how he was when they got back.

Instead, Danny, a former Hellesdon High School pupil, phoned 999 and arranged for the ambulance to meet them at their house.

Mr Hardesty said: “He has contributed to saving my life. If he had not done what he did, who knows? I might not have had treatment soon enough.”

His wife Tina, 46, with whom he also has a 14-year-old daughter called Chelsea, was also quick to praise their son for making the call.

She said: “I am proud of what he did that day. His quick thinking really did start it all off to save his dad’s life.

“If he had not done it I know Chris would not be here and I am eternally grateful for it and always will be.”

However, a modest Danny said: “I just did what I thought was best. I knew something was not right as he did not look too good, so it was just instinct really.”

The ambulance arrived at their home shortly after they returned and Mr Hardesty was taken to hospital with his wife – who admitted that at first she didn’t realise he had suffered a heart attack.

Mrs Hardesty, who works as a housekeeper, said: “I thought he is probably having a panic attack. He’s only 45, you don’t have a heart attack at that age.”

However, on the way to the hospital the ambulance had to stop at the Five Ways roundabout, in Earlham, as he had suffered a cardiac arrest and urgently needed help.

Mrs Hardesty said: “I still can’t talk about it. It was just horrible. I thought I had heard his last breath.”

But the paramedics were able to revive Mr Hardesty and he said he owes his life to those “amazing people”.

At hospital he underwent an operation and had two stents put in an artery.

He checked out two days later and is hoping to be back at work at his businesses East Anglia Security Services and C J Hardesty Home Improvements in February.

However, he said he is hoping to reduce his stress, has stopped smoking, eats more fruit and walks more.

He said: “I am really fortunate and do believe that I have had a second chance and it is up to me to take that second chance.”

•The East of England Ambulance Service’s general advice is to always take chest pains seriously.

An ambulance spokesperson said: “Chest pain should always be taken seriously, however severe it feels or whether a person might think it’s nothing to worry about.

“If you, or anyone around you, experience any chest pain or other symptoms, such as severe shortness of breath, that make you think you are having a heart attack, don’t ignore them. Phone 999 for an ambulance immediately.

“This means that you will get treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you get treatment, the greater your chances of survival.”

•Do you have a story about a life-saving act? Contact reporter Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email richard.wood@archant.co.uk

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