Dad-of-three, 57, remembers being brought back to life seven times in helicopter

A health dad of three remembers his heart stopping seven times in an air ambulance after collapsing while on a walk.

Duncan Stevenson, from Biggar, was out walking with friends at Loch Tay near Killin when he started suffering a heart attack in February last year.

Due to the rural location and poor weather the 57-year-old’s friends had to act fast to get their pal the urgent help he required.

After seeking help from a nearby farmer who rushed the group back to their hotel in the village, they frantically called for an ambulance.

Dad-of-three Duncan told the Daily Record : “I started not feeling too well but I just pushed it to the back of my mind and pushed on.

“But it got a lot worse – and then I couldn’t move.

“The roads were flooded and we couldn’t get back so a local farmer took us back to Killin and then we were able to call for an ambulance.

“Things quickly got a lot worse and I started having those really chesty pains and cramps.

“An hour later the ambulance arrived. They wired me up and quickly knew I was having a heart attack and I needed a helicopter.”

Ambulance crews raced Duncan down to Lochearnhead about 15 miles down the road when his heart stopped for the first time.

The weather conditions were horrendous with gale force winds and heavy rain, but medics knew they had to get Duncan to a hospital fast.

A Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance arrived and they bundled self-employed countryside management consultant Duncan into the aircraft.

Duncan said: “I remember being wheeled into the helicopter with the wind howling around me.

“It was a really rough trip – it was touch and go whether they could get me through.

“My heart stopped seven times in total on the journey to Dundee hospital.

“In the helicopter they kept saying ‘Duncan are you alright, are you alright?’ And I kept thinking why are they asking that, but it was every time my heart stopped and they were bringing me back round again.”

Duncan was rushed into theatre where they put a stent in one of his arteries that had become blocked.

He went on to make a full recovery and remarkably was back home with his wife just three days later.

Next Monday, February 22, will mark a year on from the horror incident and Duncan is now back working, carrying out bird surveys and project management on farms.

The dad says he owes his life to the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance crews and everyone that was involved that day.

He said: “The whole team even from my mates at the start got everything right, I’m so lucky.

“I’m back at work, up in the hills doing vegetation surveys.

“I do a lot of outdoor work on farms so I’ve been taking the pills and I’m getting back to what I was doing.

“I do sometimes think ‘why did it happen to me?’

“I’m quite fit, I do a lot of running and don’t have a history of this kind of thing in the family.

“I asked the consultant what caused it and he said it’s just the way it is, you’re just a middle age bloke from Scotland.

“I’m conscious of how lucky I was. We’re so fortunate to have the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance – they are just a charity but they’re so professional.

“My heart stopped seven times – for them to get me there it must have been touch and go, even just to land, the conditions were that bad.

“I owe my life to them.”