“I want to thank them for saving my life”: Walcott man talks of life-saving air ambulance team

Andrew Conroy. Picture: Maurice Gray

Andrew Conroy. Picture: Maurice Gray - Credit: Maurice Gray

It was on a bright summer's day, last year, when Andrew Conroy, who lives in Walcott, went to his local supermarket to buy his weekly essentials.

Air Ambulance takes off from Walcott with Andrew. Copyright: Maurice Gray

Air Ambulance takes off from Walcott with Andrew. Copyright: Maurice Gray - Credit: Maurice Gray

'I felt a little tired when I drove from Walcott to Stalham,' he said, adding, 'I put it down to going to bed late the previous night.'

Andrew, 32, drove the five miles back to his home and off-loaded his shopping. By this time he was feeling a tingling in his right arm. He said: 'My arm and leg went completely numb for around 15 minutes and then returned to normal.'

Andrew went to bed, hoping the lethargy and tingling would go away after a couple of hours sleep, but it wasn't to be.

He realised it was more serious and called the emergency services and within a very short time a local 'First Responder', George, arrived immediately, gave Andrew oxygen and called for an ambulance.

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A paramedic and an ambulance then followed.

Andrew recalled: 'I remember laying down and people were talking to me, my speech was slurring and I couldn't feel my right side.'

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Andrew had suffered a stroke.

An East Anglian Air Ambulance arrived with a skilful pilot and team who navigated a landing on a small village green. Andrew was airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he spent 17 days.

He went on to spent a month on Beech Ward at Norwich Community Hospital. Since then, he has been making a good recovery, although he is still not able to use his right hand properly.

'I am so grateful to everyone who took care of me, they saved my life', said Andrew, who is now having regular treatment from a therapist.

He said: 'I just want to get my freedom, able to drive and speak about my experience to others freely and openly.'

Andrew said he wanted to thank the ambulance and hospital staff who had helped him along the way.

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