A  holidaymaker who had a cardiac arrest while on the Isle of Wight has praised the aftercare he has received from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

The service's new Aftercare team has supported 100 patients in its maiden year.

The team, comprising two specialist paramedics from the charity and a nurse from University Hospital Southampton, extends follow-up care to those treated for grave illness or injury by the air ambulance crew.

The service also reaches out to patients' relatives and those present on the scene, offering help where necessary.

Since its initiation, over 400 patients and relatives have been reached out to  with offers of assistance including bereavement support, answering medical queries, and arranging meet-ups with the air ambulance crew.

One of those assisted was 58-year-old Gary Parsons who had a cardiac arrest while holidaying on the Isle of Wight in 2021.

Gary was instantly treated and air-lifted to a hospital by the charity's air ambulance.

Mr Parsons said:  "If it wasn’t for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance team who brought me back after almost an hour, I wouldn’t be here today. It took me nearly a year to fully recover, but I always had something missing.  

"After such a traumatic event, I found it hard to get my head to understand what my body was going through. There seemed to be nowhere else to turn. But, luckily, the Aftercare team reached out to me and my wife, Penny.

"I had talks with them, visited the Airbase and charity offices where they listened to my feelings, discussed my treatment in detail and showed us the equipment that was used on me. That really helped both Penny and me deal with the trauma. It was incredibly eye opening.

"I would recommend anyone going through the same as me to reach out to the aftercare team. Without them, I don’t think I would be where I am today."

Nicola Hawkes, Aftercare manager and specialist paramedic, said:  "We know supporting emotional trauma helps towards physical recovery, but sometimes just knowing you're not alone and that others have felt and been through the same thing allows them to feel seen and understood."