Heart attack survivor saved by mystery medic

John Buckley collapsed on Arthur's Seat. Picture: comp
John Buckley collapsed on Arthur's Seat. Picture: comp
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A HEART attack survivor is searching for the mystery man who saved his life on Arthur’s Seat.

John Buckley, 64, was on holiday with his wife, Anne, in the Capital on July 2 when he suffered a severe cardiac arrest.

An American, who told witnesses he was a paramedic, raced to aid Mr Buckley and performed life-saving chest compressions on him for 30 minutes.

And after making a full recovery Mr Buckley, of Scarborough, now wants to find the man to thank him for making “my new lease of life possible”.

“It was the second day of our holiday – my wife has family connections in Edinburgh because her aunt and uncle used to live in Corstorphine,” he said.

“She decided to go to look round the shops and the Writers’ Museum so I said I would go up Arthur’s Seat because I’m a very fit person.

“But this is a lesson for all of us that perhaps we are not as fit as we think we are because I collapsed on Radical Path.

“I don’t recall any of this – I don’t recall leaving her on the Royal Mile but what I do know is I owe my life to that American.”

Mr Buckley woke up in intensive care in Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary where doctors fought to bring him back from the seizure which nearly killed him.

He spent a week in hospital and underwent an operation to fit an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) which will now act as his own “onboard American paramedic”.

The retired sixth form teacher said he wanted to say a “heartfelt” thank you to all of the emergency services, including the police who collected Mrs Buckley from Princes Street and took him to his bedside.

“We could not ask for anything more from the staff in the ERI – they were not just looking after my wife but also my son who had flown all the way from Norway. They went above and beyond,” Mr Buckley added.

“Everyone that she came into contact with was sympathetic and helpful.”

The experience has not put Mr Buckley, a long-distance runner and cyclist, off visiting the Capital again and he is already planning to return for his 65th birthday next month – when he intends to see more of the city than just the inside of an intensive care unit.

And he is planning to take a course in CPR so “someone else has a chance of having their life saved”.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Although the ambulance crew were there quickly to treat John, the early CPR that he received will have improved his chances of survival and recovery. As more people in our communities learn basic life saving skills, they will help to save more lives.”