THREE members of staff from a Borders veterinary practice have been hailed heroes after helping to save the life of a pet owner.
Vet Robbie Norquay performed CPR on Hamish Ritchie, who suffered a heart attack outside Galedin Vets in Kelso, assisted by fellow vet Michael Kyle.
Receptionist Sheila Fleming rang the ambulance and consoled Mr Ritchie’s wife Jacky until paramedics arrived. She also drove Mrs Ritchie to Borders General Hospital, where her husband was taken.
Their quick-thinking actions helped to save the life of Mr Ritchie, who has made a full recovery after surgery.
As a token of appreciation, Mr and Mrs Ritchie, from Coldstream, have donated towards the cost of defibrillator, a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest, that will be kept outside of Galedin Vets’ surgery in Kelso.
The team at Galedin Vets has just undergone training to use the defibrillator with Kelso Heartbeat, a charity that provides basic life support training.
Mr and Mrs Ritchie returned to the surgery this week to meet the trio.
Mr Ritchie suffered a heart attack in September as he and his wife returned home after visiting a garden centre in Kelso.
Mrs Ritchie stopped the car outside the practice at The Knowes, where their pet schnauzer Penny is registered, to raise the alarm after her husband collapsed while she was driving.
Robbie and Michael quickly carried Mr Ritchie into the surgery, where they performed CPR, while Sheila rang an ambulance.
Robbie said: “Mr Ritchie wasn’t breathing so we got him into the surgery. Sheila rang the ambulance and the operator talked us through how to perform CPR.
“It was pretty scary at the time, but it is great to now see him so well. Mr and Mrs Rithcie have kindly donated some money for a defibrillator at the surgery and we have contributed to the rest of the cost.”
Mr Ritchie spent three weeks in Border General Hospital, before being transferred to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he had a stent inserted to reduce the chance of another heart attack.
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