‘Heart-stopping moment taught me to keep active, enjoy our surroundings, love Lowestoft and trust in our NHS’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 May 2018

Lowestoft Rising change manager, Phil Aves. Picture: Archant.

Lowestoft Rising change manager, Phil Aves. Picture: Archant.


It’s been a while since I last wrote for local voices. Unfortunately I had a heart attack followed by a cardiac arrest which kind of got in the way of things!

Before that I was talking about the five ways to well-being and how I managed to get other people to do all the good work Lowestoft Rising did. So all that talk of being active and allowing others to take the workload suddenly came true for me.

So what I have learnt by this heart-stopping moment.

Firstly, that our NHS system is brilliant in a crisis. From the moment I staggered into my doctor’s surgery, to being whisked at breakneck speed by a very professional ambulance crew to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, to a team of medical professionals who managed to unblock my blocked artery in a matter of minutes with top technology without leaving hardly a mark on my body. Then there was the aftercare I received when it was all done including shocking me back to life when my heart stopped briefly afterwards. All I can say is thank god for such a professional bunch of people, who often all we do is moan about. They were incredible.

Secondly, that having been sent home to get even more active and recover, I found we have some of the best walking anywhere in the country. From our beaches that stretch for miles, to our parks with wonderful colour to Carlton Marshes with its fantastic wildlife (thank you Big Lottery for giving them the money). We are so lucky with our facilities around us here in Lowestoft.

Thirdly that our leisure centre providers, Sentinel Leisure, provide us with some of the best quality local public sports facilities we could wish.

And lastly that my partner, family, friends and hundreds of colleagues who all took time to send me good wishes have all been brilliant at helping me to recover and doing all the work whilst I did so.

Life is precious and we often only realise when it hangs by a thread. So keep active, enjoy our beautiful surroundings, love Lowestoft and trust in our NHS should you ever need them in a crisis.

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