Episode 7 Real Rescues


Episode 7

Nick Knowles presents one of the quickest life-saving rescues after a TV presenter suffers a heart attack. Also, an air ambulance heads out to a motorcycle accident.


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Transcript


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Every time a 999 call is made, our rescue services are ready to react.

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They need skill and speed - every second counts when rushing to a call or speeding someone to safety.

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Tonight we get closer than ever to the emergency frontline.

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This is Real Rescues.

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Tonight, Richard is having a heart attack.

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His treatment is about to break a few records.

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He'll be undergoing life-saving surgery within 20 minutes.

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We're holding off with these drugs as we're going straight into surgery.

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A family day out comes to a terrifying end when their car spins across three lanes,

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leaving Mum worried sick about her five-week-old baby.

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We've got an ambulance coming. Calm down.

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And a cat on a high town roof.

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Bobby the escapologist puts the professionals through their paces.

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Here he goes. He's off now. He's gone!

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A ambulance is like a compact and mobile A&E department.

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In an emergency, they have all the equipment needed to check out what's happening to our bodies.

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The rescue we're about to see shows what happens inside when a patient is having a heart attack.

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Four highly-trained ambulance crew are working flat out to save this man's life.

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-My colleague said that you had been jogging. Had you?

-Yeah.

-Right, OK.

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-And what happened?

-I was fine.

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-Right.

-I came in, had a cup of tea, had a shower and a shave...

-Right.

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-I started to get undressed and I got this pain in my chest.

-OK.

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Richard is in pain.

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He's 64 and a TV presenter with British Forces Broadcasting.

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-Can I lie down, please?

-Can you lean forward a wee bit? That's it.

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The crew are getting an electrical reading from Richard's heart.

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Looking at our ECG, it indicates that you've had a heart attack.

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As I explained, we've got some drugs that we can give you now

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-to start busting those clots. OK?

-So the treatment can get started right away.

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The clot-busting drugs could save Richard's life, but they're not without risk.

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Paramedic Lucy Dobson must explain the possible side effects of this drug.

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The biggest risk is stroke, for 1 patient in 200...

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I don't think I want the injection.

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The ambulance crew must abide by Richard's decision not to have the injection.

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-Now his wife Claire has arrived.

-Hello!

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-Hello!

-You just got here in time. We're taking Richard to QA's Hospital.

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It's very clear that you've had a heart attack.

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It's your right, but you've declined for us to give you the drugs to blast the clots out.

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What? He's declined? They said I could have a stroke.

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It's a side effect.

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As Claire is updated, the matter of the drug becomes irrelevant.

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The hospital had radioed through. The cardiology team has a slot free.

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If they can get him there quickly enough, he can go straight to theatre.

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I've spoken to the consultant at the hospital and we're going straight to the lab.

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They put wire from your groin into the artery,

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and then they, basically, blast it away.

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-All right.

-That's if I really have had a heart attack!

-You have.

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It's a lot for Richard and Claire to take in. Every minute, Richard's heart could be dying.

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For now, the crew have done all they can.

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We've caught everything in time. We got there quickly, done our bit.

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-They'll do their bit and you'll be up and jumping around.

-I hope so.

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We'll hand over in there.

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Cardiologist Dr Philip Strike and his team are waiting for Richard as he arrives at the hospital.

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His life is now in their hands.

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We'll stay with Richard as they carry out the surgery that he so urgently needs.

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It's a filthy day. Traffic cop Jerry Bryan is on his way to a car that's aquaplaned across the motorway.

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All we know is the car hit the central res...

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and now it's gone up the bank.

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Foxtrot Sierra Double One, over.

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The breakdown truck is already on the scene. They saw the accident happen.

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A car has hit water on the road

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and spun across three motorway lanes, ending up behind the barrier facing the other way.

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Inside the car was a young family, including a four-year-old girl and a young baby.

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The children and Dad are taking refuge in the breakdown truck, but Mum Kelly is beside herself.

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We've got an ambulance coming. Calm down.

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-Five-week-old or five-month-old?

-Five weeks!

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It's a five-week-old baby, yeah.

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The car is severely damaged. It somehow smashed through the end of the barrier and up the bank.

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The tiny baby and the rest of the family are waiting in the recovery vehicle for the ambulance crew.

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Only then will they be reassured that their newborn has escaped injury.

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Jerry needs to close down lane one so that the emergency services have space to work in safety.

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It's no easy job in these conditions.

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I may need your help when the ambulance comes!

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-Paramedic Georgina McDonald has arrived in the rapid response vehicle.

-They've actually hit

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the end of the barrier. You know these new ends? She ripped off the end of the car on that.

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It's an excessively hard front impact. We're a bit concerned. The five-week-old is very quiet.

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The paramedics are looking after the baby, so Jerry can now get on with finding out what happened.

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-Did you roll at all?

-I haven't got a clue, to be honest.

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We know you've hit the end of here cos you can see the marks.

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-I'm not trying to catch you out. What speed were you doing?

-I'm not sure. I wasn't going stupid speeds.

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Cos they will ask because of this. They'll want to know for your kid.

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-How are you doing? Are you hurt in any way?

-No, my neck's a bit stiff.

-We'll get you checked out.

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We've got a couple of ambulance people. That's more important.

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They'll sort it. Let's get you done now as well for your neck. That's a hard impact.

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Two doctors have arrived and are attending to Kelly and her children.

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-How did the car actually...?

-They hit that end of the barrier and it's spun them.

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He's come up sideways, backwards. You can see some tyre marks.

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-Lucky. Lucky that they're not like that.

-Yeah.

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-They're very shocked, but...

-Shaken, but not stirred.

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It looks like they've been incredibly lucky. The doctors are both happy that they're all OK.

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The five-week-old baby has been oblivious throughout all the drama.

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It shows that a car can survive quite major impact

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and protect the occupants, as long as people are wearing their seatbelts

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and the children are in proper car seats, properly belted in.

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There's a huge sense of relief. What could have been a family tragedy ended up with no serious casualties.

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You all right?

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You've been very brave.

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-Aren't you? I'll shut this door, keep you warm.

-Thank you.

-No problem at all.

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With the family safe, Jerry just has to concentrate on getting the road cleared.

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Luckily, no-one was injured. Just barrier damage.

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And the car. Barriers, cars, they can be replaced. People can't.

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We're with the Great North Air Ambulance at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

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Nearly a quarter of all the rescues they attend involve motorcyclists,

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and they're heading out to another one now.

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Reports of one patient with a serious head injury

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and a large open wound to his neck.

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There is a road crew on scene,

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and they are requesting air support.

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So approximately about 17 to 18 minutes' flight away from Teesside.

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The scene of the crash is obscured by trees.

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As they get nearer, Paul and pilot Matt Takin

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look for a landing place as close as possible to their patient.

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What I'll do is we'll relocate.

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If you drop me off here, I'll get the police to shut the road off and we'll relocate.

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-Good to go?

-Good to go, mate.

-Thank you.

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Matt drops Paul off at a nearby field and then waits till the police have closed the road completely.

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He's then able to put down on a bridge a few yards from the scene.

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Inside the ambulance, the crew are fighting to save biker Keith Nixon's life.

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His lung has collapsed and he's bleeding from the neck and thigh.

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Paul gets stuck in to help them straightaway.

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His lung has actually collapsed,

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but the cavity was still filling with air.

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It is a life threatening condition.

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We've got to do a procedure where we've got to decompress the chest

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with a large bore needle and let the air out.

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Hopefully that will help with his breathing.

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I want to put a pelvic on him.

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You want a SAM splint?

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Gordon gets the SAM splint from his bag.

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They're used for keeping the pelvis immobile.

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Once we cut his leathers off, we also found wounds to his right groin.

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That was bleeding quite profusely.

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So we had to dress them as well, as quickly as possible.

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They've got very little time to work with.

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Keith's losing blood fast from an arterial wound.

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They know it's painful but his groans are a good sign.

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At least he's conscious.

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I'll just put a belt on you.

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HE GROANS

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All right, you're all right.

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They've done all they can for Keith at the scene.

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Paul radios details of his injuries to their colleague,

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who will alert the hospital.

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He's got a deep laceration to his left side neck,

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deep laceration to his right femoral groin area.

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Query fractured pelvis.

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ETA approximately 15 minutes, over.

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'Yeah, I've got them on standby.'

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Thanks, Jane.

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-Lift.

-Sorry, mate.

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-Slide him along.

-Excellent.

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They're still working as fast as they possibly can and Keith's beginning to respond,

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but there's one more thing they need to do

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before he can go onboard the helicopter.

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Not your arm, it's your leathers!

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His observations are stable at the moment.

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His blood pressure is raising up, which we are pleased about.

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We need to get him in as soon as possible, to see the surgeons

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about these cuts and this problem with his chest and pelvis.

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Open your eyes for me.

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Keith's now stable enough for the journey.

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Right, let's go.

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They're on their way to a hospital where the injured biker will need emergency surgery.

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Back at the scene, they've discovered what caused the crash.

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He's took the bend but there was

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a sort of log, or a bit of debris in the middle of the road.

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He's hit that which has made the bike wobble

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and he's managed to slide down the road as the bike's hit the tree. He's lucky he came off the bike

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before he hit the tree because his injuries would have been a lot worse if he had hit the tree.

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Keith's being well looked after.

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We'll be getting a bulletin on his progress from the hospital.

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We're back with 64-year-old Richard Astbury. Less than an hour ago, he started to have chest pains.

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-I can't believe I'm having a heart attack!

-We're going to just wire you up and have a look.

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-Dr Philip Strike is in charge.

-We'll take some pictures of the coronary artery,

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see where they're blocked and aim to stretch it open with a balloon and put a stent in.

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With their part complete, the ambulance crew can now relax.

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Thank you. I'm really grateful for all you've done.

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Unusually, they get the chance to see this treatment through from behind the control room screen.

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Richard has been given a local anaesthetic, but he's still wide awake and talking.

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Moving his legs is giving them problems.

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-You're fighting me and making my life much more difficult.

-Sorry.

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Philip is trying to feed a wire into Richard's groin to do the angioplasty.

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-Is that just where the block is? Ah, right. You can see it.

-Yeah, there it is.

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There can now be no doubt at all that Richard's heart attack is real.

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The main artery down the front of his heart is totally blocked.

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The next job is to open it up.

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On the monitor, the special balloon inserted into the artery to stretch it is clearly visible.

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We're doing very nicely. We're very happy.

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-We've got that blocked artery open. Lovely.

-I'm behaving all right?

-You're behaving.

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They then use a special catheter to suck the blood clot out.

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It's amazing, isn't it?

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The artery is now completely clear.

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How are you?

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Is that pain any better? It should be.

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That artery's wide open now. We're very happy.

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Next the surgeons need to check how strongly Richard's heart is beating.

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There's a hot flush coming your way.

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They're pushing X-ray dye into the heart's main pumping chamber to make sure all is well.

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That's it finished, OK? Good.

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So you did have a heart attack.

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And the main artery down the front of your heart was blocked.

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But you could get a bus down it now.

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Richard's been given his life back, but will have to change it as well. We'll talk to him later.

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That was a frightening experience.

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Well, they said I could have died!

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Fire crews are trained to rescue people trapped in all kinds of situations.

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They even have a specialist animal rescue unit.

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Of course the fire crews get a lot of stick for rescuing cats stuck up trees but, if you think about it,

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it's good training for them especially when the cat has decided to climb to this kind of height.

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Animal rescue specialist Jim Green is heading out to Portsmouth after a call from the RSPCA.

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Not for the first time, a cat is stuck, this one is about 40 ft up on the roof of a three-storey house.

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Jim arrives at the residential street in Southsea, where he's met by Karen Gregor from the RSPCA.

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-This one here?

-Yeah.

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She shows him where Bobby the cat is. It's hard enough to spot him, let alone get to him.

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Bobby is only a year old.

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Owner Felicity Crabbe has already spent one anxious night.

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The reason why he got out is we moved in on Saturday and he escaped.

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I don't know how he got out but he got out and I know you're meant

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to keep them in for a week but he came back so I thought,

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"There's no point keeping him as he's already been out and he's come back." We let him out yesterday

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and it got to six o'clock and I was worried because he's in by then for his dinner.

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Then we came out and we heard him meowing,

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so I phoned the RSPCA and they said to leave some food out and hopefully he'd come down and he didn't.

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And here we are.

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Jim realises there's nothing else to do but get a ladder up to him.

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Probably be a 135 for that one.

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-How friendly is he?

-Oh, he's very friendly, yeah.

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That's going to be quite an entertaining ladder pitch for the boys to get them out in.

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We've got a cat on a chimney and I don't think there's any chance of it coming down on its own,

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so I think I'm going to need a ladder, actually.

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So this cat is going to cause a bit of work for a whole fire crew.

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Sometimes putting a ladder up

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is enough to shift the cat and make it realise

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actually it can work its own way down.

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Now the fire crews have arrived, Bobby is beginning to take some interest

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in all the goings on.

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This might seem...why are we wasting all these resources on a cat,

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in actual fact it's good training for the fire-fighters because

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when they do training in their fire stations and drill yards,

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they have a nice tower to pitch ladders up against

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but in reality, some of these are quite tricky to do.

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You're nowhere near it yet, fellas.

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Good, that sounds like it.

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Very carefully, the almost fully extended ladder is lowered on to the stack.

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Now Jim has to head up there. Bobby seems to be lying low.

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Jim pulls up a cat basket but getting Bobby into it is going to take a lot of coaxing.

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Hello, puss, puss.

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Hello, puss.

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Are you coming?

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Come on, then.

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Jim gets on first-name terms, but to no avail.

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Come on, Bobby, come on, Bobby.

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He needs to lift him up, but he isn't quite high enough

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to be able to reach him up.

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Come on, Bobby.

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It splayed its back legs out

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and wouldn't come through the chimney,

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so we thought it was going to become a bit more of a drama.

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The safety of Jim and his team is paramount

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so they're calling in another engine with a hydraulic turntable platform.

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In the meantime Jim heads back up, armed with goodies.

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Down below, Bobby's exploits are attracting quite a bit of attention.

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The aerial ladder is on the scene and swings into action.

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Once they can get above the chimney pots, this rescue should be quite straightforward.

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Hello, puss.

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There he goes, he's off now, He's gone!

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But no, Bobby's got other ideas.

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The cat decided to launch itself across onto the chimney stack on the rear of the buildings.

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I knew the access was diabolical from that side so I was not impressed.

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This is what happens when you work with animals.

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You can't communicate with them or tell them what you're going to do,

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you can't ask them to do things for you, you just have to react to their reactions.

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Felicity looks on.

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It could be some time before Bobby is grounded.

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We'll be back as Jim and the team try a different approach.

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They're going to surround him.

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In the hospital cath lab, heart attack patient Richard Astbury

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recovers from an emergency procedure.

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-Did you see much of what happened?

-Yes, we saw the whole thing.

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Did you, really? I'm very glad I didn't. I'm a bit squeamish.

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It's less than an hour since he first had chest pains and already he's getting back to his old self.

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-Past medical problems? Diabetes?

-No.

-High blood pressure?

-I have diabetes insipidus.

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-Very different from sugar diabetes.

-I know what it is. High blood pressure? High cholesterol?

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Well, yes, but it... it's under control because of the medication I take.

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-Any heart disease in the family?

-No. I like a drop of gin.

-OK.

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-Not today.

-No!

-All right. Thanks very much.

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It's been a life-changing experience for Richard.

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'I was frightened. I was very frightened indeed.'

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I'd been told I was having a heart attack.

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First thing I ask myself is am I going to be able to work again?

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Can I walk again?

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And the biggest thing that frightens me now, even now, after the heart attack, is

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is it likely to happen again?

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Well, there seems every reason to be optimistic. Surgeon Phil Strike explains how the operation

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has not just unblocked an artery, but has substantially limited permanent long-term damage.

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This is his left coronary artery and this artery runs down the front of the heart.

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And there's an area here which is very severely narrowed and virtually blocked.

0:22:160:22:20

If we then just show you how we left it at the end...

0:22:200:22:22

We've opened that area completely and there's a stent in there.

0:22:220:22:26

Nice flow down that artery, all the way down,

0:22:260:22:30

and we've put a balloon in here, which is better. It's not perfect,

0:22:300:22:34

but we have a good result in this vessel. That'll keep him alive and stop further heart attacks.

0:22:340:22:41

And if we look at his heart at the end of our procedure, the heart is nice and strong,

0:22:410:22:47

it pumps very well. There may be a little area at the bottom damaged.

0:22:470:22:53

The amount of damage he's had is very small, so we're very pleased.

0:22:530:22:58

With any luck, Richard will be back home in a few days' time,

0:22:580:23:02

his heart and health restored by the very prompt actions of our emergency teams.

0:23:020:23:07

Back at a residential street,

0:23:140:23:16

Bobby the one-year-old ginger cat is evading capture.

0:23:160:23:19

Animal specialist Jim Green tried pulling him through the pots, but the gap was too narrow.

0:23:190:23:23

Then they called the hydraulic platform,

0:23:230:23:26

but Bobby scarpered over to the other chimney stack.

0:23:260:23:29

Now Jim and the firefighters are going to try a different approach.

0:23:290:23:32

What we're going to do is put a firefighter between the two chimneys

0:23:320:23:36

so that he can't just keep going backwards and forwards.

0:23:360:23:39

Just to the left of the chimney,

0:23:390:23:42

and if you can get me up higher up, by the pots,

0:23:420:23:45

I can reach over and grab him out of the middle.

0:23:450:23:49

So the third rescue plan swings into action.

0:23:510:23:54

One firefighter is put on the roof at the front of the house

0:23:540:23:58

to stop Bobby heading back to the front chimney,

0:23:580:24:00

while a second is landed on to the top of the dormer by the back stack.

0:24:000:24:04

Mind your head!

0:24:040:24:06

Jim is now overhead with a cat net to flush Bobby out.

0:24:080:24:11

-He's just put his paws out.

-Has he got his other one through yet?

0:24:110:24:14

No, he has put both paws over the loop.

0:24:140:24:17

Wait till he comes to you.

0:24:170:24:20

The plan is working.

0:24:200:24:21

Bobby makes a run for the front chimney, but his route is barred.

0:24:210:24:24

Grab him, that's it.

0:24:240:24:26

Round the scruff. Right, just cuddle him up there. Get hold of his scruff.

0:24:260:24:30

Bobby is caught.

0:24:320:24:34

Now, just pull it. That's it.

0:24:340:24:36

BOBBY MIAOWS

0:24:380:24:41

-Don't drop it!

-CHEERING FROM BELOW

0:24:420:24:46

Bobby's getting pretty vocal,

0:24:460:24:48

but his rescue is met with applause from down below.

0:24:480:24:51

We'll come back for you.

0:24:510:24:52

-Cheers.

-Karen is not risking releasing Bobby outside again,

0:25:080:25:12

so she carries him back home for a reunion with owner Felicity.

0:25:120:25:16

-Shall I shut that door?

-Shut the door, just in case!

0:25:160:25:20

Good boy!

0:25:230:25:25

Hello.

0:25:270:25:30

Don't do it again!

0:25:300:25:32

Bobby! Good boy.

0:25:340:25:37

Bobby is none the worse for his adventure, and it's just up to

0:25:370:25:40

Felicity to say her thank-yous on his behalf.

0:25:400:25:43

No problem at all.

0:25:470:25:49

Obviously we were relieved we managed to get the cat off the roof,

0:25:490:25:52

and the owner's response is always good

0:25:520:25:55

and we're always quite happy to see them smiling.

0:25:550:25:59

The firefighters that attended, they'd had a different afternoon,

0:25:590:26:03

shall we say? Learned a few bits.

0:26:030:26:06

-A good job.

-Hopefully he'll have learnt his lesson,

0:26:060:26:09

but you never know with cats. He's only young.

0:26:090:26:12

Maybe that was one of his nine lives.

0:26:120:26:14

Now we can catch up with the people involved in tonight's other rescues.

0:26:190:26:23

Keith Nixon, the motorcyclist who came off his bike after hitting a log

0:26:230:26:27

suffered a broken collar bone, shoulder blade,

0:26:270:26:30

a large laceration to his neck, as well as a collapsed lung.

0:26:300:26:33

He had emergency surgery and was in the high dependency unit of Newcastle General Hospital

0:26:330:26:38

for a week, and on a ward for a further two weeks.

0:26:380:26:42

He can't thank the emergency services enough.

0:26:420:26:45

Without them, he says, he wouldn't be alive.

0:26:450:26:48

And how are the Hill family recovering after their car spun so far across the motorway

0:26:480:26:53

it ended up behind the crash barrier?

0:26:530:26:56

Dad Matthew was driving.

0:26:560:26:58

We crossed every lane of the motorway.

0:26:580:27:01

It was like we were on ice and totally out of control.

0:27:010:27:04

When it started to spin, I thought we were all dead.

0:27:040:27:08

There was no two ways about it.

0:27:080:27:09

Miraculously, none of the family was injured,

0:27:090:27:12

and five-week-old Macy slept through it all.

0:27:120:27:15

Mum Kelly is incredulous at their escape.

0:27:150:27:17

I think unless you've been in an accident like that,

0:27:170:27:21

you don't really appreciate how much things mean to you

0:27:210:27:24

and the time you've got to think about it.

0:27:240:27:28

It's scary and I wouldn't ever want to be put in a position like that with anything again.

0:27:280:27:33

And how's Richard after his heart attack?

0:27:360:27:39

He was kept in hospital for three days after the operation

0:27:390:27:43

and he's now recovering well at home.

0:27:430:27:45

He's determined to make a few changes.

0:27:450:27:48

I'm not having my gin,

0:27:480:27:50

I'm cutting down on my consumption of alcohol,

0:27:500:27:53

which was bigger than it should have been.

0:27:530:27:56

So I'm restricting myself

0:27:560:27:58

and I feel slightly as if I'm in a straitjacket of life.

0:27:580:28:02

But I've been told by the cardiologists

0:28:020:28:06

that I'll be back to normal in a few months.

0:28:060:28:09

And it will be a newly reformed Richard.

0:28:090:28:13

This is a big wake-up call.

0:28:130:28:15

Every time you see a blue light or hear a siren,

0:28:220:28:25

the emergency services are on their way to help someone in distress.

0:28:250:28:28

Join me again when we go out on call for more Real Rescues.

0:28:280:28:33

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:330:28:36

Email [email protected]

0:28:360:28:38

Nick Knowles presents one of the quickest life-saving rescues after a TV presenter suffers a heart attack. Plus, the air ambulance heads out to an accident after a motorcyclist hits a log in the road, and Bobby the cat is stuck on a roof - but he's not making it easy for his rescuers.


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