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Chef saves customer's life after they had heart attack during afternoon tea

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:52 18 January 2020

Jamie Symons, head chef at the Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, who saved a customer's life using the onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jamie Symons, head chef at the Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, who saved a customer's life using the onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A chef has been hailed as a hero after saving the life of a diner who had a heart attack while eating afternoon tea.

The community defibrillator at the Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe community defibrillator at the Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Paramedics said the customer, thought to be 81 years old, would not have survived if it wasn't for Jamie Symons' bravery.

The customer collapsed while having afternoon tea at The Crown Lodge Hotel in Outwell on December 14.

Jamie Symons, 34, had stepped out of the kitchen to sort paperwork in the office when he noticed the customer was seriously ill and leapt into action.

Under supervision from a medic on the phone he used the on site community defibrillator to revive the customer while waiting for the ambulance service.

The Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, where there is an onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, where there is an onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Symons, from Outwell, said: "He was with his partner and she had put him in the recovery position, but I could see he had taken a turn for the worse. It was heartbreaking seeing her sat next to him bawling her eyes out.

"I just wanted to try and help save the guy - that was the only thing I was thinking. So I started to do compressions and shocked him and then checked if he needed a breath. At this point he gasped himself and came around."

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An ambulance arrived within 10 minutes and paramedics told Mr Symons the customer had suffered a heart attack, before taking him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

The Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, where there is an onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, where there is an onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Symons said: "Afterwards I had to go outside as I was in a bit of shock and felt really emotional. What had happened just really hit home."

But the chef said he does not like being called a hero, adding he was just in the right place at the right time and did what anyone would do.

Mr Symons added: "I was conscious I didn't want to make a mistake and make it worse but if I'd stood back and did nothing I'd feel even worse. But there are people who do much tougher jobs and save people's lives day in day out."

He also stressed the importance of defibrillators and said it proved how vital they are to communities.

Jamie Symons, head chef at the Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, who saved a customer's life using the onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJamie Symons, head chef at the Crown Lodge Hotel Restaurant at Outwell, who saved a customer's life using the onsite community defrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The East of England Ambulance service has spent £125,000 on replacement batteries for 1,000 defibrillators within the community thanks to a £135,000 legacy left by Megan Carter, a former patient who died in Cambridgeshire.

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