Ron Taylor cannot remember anything of the day he had a heart attack, but he knows he would not be here today if it were not for his ‘guardian angels’.
Ron, 70, has now thanked lorry driver Ian Owen and USAF staff sergeants Blake Broekhove and Scott Caldwell, but wants everyone to know how grateful he is to everyone who helped him.
Now recovering at home in Laburnum Avenue, Mildenhall, Ron, who had no history of heart complaints, can remember nothing of the drama his trip to the shop became.
“I was just biking up the road one moment and the next moment I woke up in hospital,” he said. “I don’t remember anything for three days.”
Ian and his wife Tania, from nearby Woodlands Way, were walking their English bull terriers when they first saw Ron cycling ahead of them.
Ian said: “As he turned into Hornbeam Road I saw hip flop over his bike. I told the wife to take the dogs and ran across the road.
“He was tangled in his bike and had hit his head on a wall.”
Ian shouted at his wife to call the ambulance and started to help Ron. He had used CPR to help someone in the Army and had recently had first aid training as part of his lorry driver’s certificate of competence.
He had to pull Ron’s tongue clear of his throat, then started doing CPR, which was when the two Americans arrived.
“Blake was there for 10 or 15 minutes doing compressions – I don’t think I could have kept it up for that long,” he said. “I’m not a big bloke, and it really takes it out of you.”
Ian held Ron’s head in the right position to keep his airways clear. He added: “I must also thank two men who arrived in a van, pulled it up and stopped people gawping. They were doing removals and gave us a blanket to put under Ron’s head.”
Ron said: “The surgeon said I had two, or possibly three, guardian angels that day and without them, I wouldn’t have made it – I’m so grateful.”
Ron was flown to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital by air ambulance and has been fitted with a mini-defibrillator but he faces weeks of treatment, tests and rehabilitation before he will be getting back on his bike again.
Ron’s wife Jo said: “He keeps telling me he’s all right, but I know he’s not. He only went down the shop for a lottery ticket and the milk and I thought he was taking a long time, so I phoned him but it was plugged in charging.”