Lancaster hospice assistant helps rescue cyclist after heart attack

A wellbeing assistant from St John’s Hospice in Lancaster was on hand to help rescue a cyclist who suffered a heart attack on his way home to Hest Bank.

Ken Woodburn and Louise Dixon.
Ken Woodburn and Louise Dixon.

Ken Woodburn, 72, a keen cyclist, was on his way home from a 50 mile cycle ride with two friends when he had a heart attack only three miles from his house.

Luckily for Ken, Louise Dixon, who works for St John’s Hospice, was driving home from work, spotted Ken and his friends and immediately stopped to help.

Louise said: “I saw Ken by the side of the road and my heart leapt.

“I pulled some blankets from the car to keep him warm and stayed with him to comfort him and keep him as relaxed as I could.

“He had a very weak pulse and was in obvious pain, especially his legs, so I massaged his legs to try and reduce some of the pain and keep him talking while his friends rang for an ambulance.

“As soon as the paramedics arrived I gave them the information they needed and left Ken to their expert care.”

Ken said: “It’s strange as I recall very little of the experience: I remember a crushing pain – it was like an elephant sat on my chest, my vision was nearly gone and I felt so, so cold.

“I remember seeing a St John’s Hospice logo and hearing a soothing voice; the next thing I remember was being taken to hospital.

“After my operation I could still see the hospice badge in the back of my mind so I went to St John’s to try and find the woman who had helped rescue me; it didn’t take long to track her down!

“I took Louise for lunch at the hospice and gave her some flowers as well as a copy of the parable of the Good Samaritan – it’s the least I could do for her, she helped me through that ordeal and I am forever grateful!”

Ken has now fully recovered from his operation and following two stents says he feels 100 per cent well – although he is taking a temporary break from cycling!