The family of heart attack victim Michael Luffman, who collapsed in the garden of his All Cannings home next to the site of the Concert at The Kings charity gig, believe quick action by St John Ambulance staff may have saved his life.
Mr Luffman, 80, was taken ill during a barbecue but first aiders arrived to help within two or three minutes and air ambulance paramedics arrived shortly afterwards.
His wife Cynthia said: “They were there almost as soon as I raised the alarm and then the paramedics took over. Without them it would have been much, much worse. They definitely helped to save his life.”
Mr Luffman, who is a bell ringer at the church, was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital and underwent surgery. Mrs Luffman said: “The air ambulance landed on the green and he was in Southampton within 20 minutes. Getting all of that help so quickly was vital.”
She has written to thank the paramedics and made a donation to the air ambulance appeal. Kings Arms landlord Richard Baulu said: “The fact the first aiders from the concert could get there so quickly saved his life.”
Mrs Luffman also praised the community of All Cannings, who have rallied to help her. She said: “Everyone has been so helpful. I can’t thank people enough. People have taken it in turns to take me down to Southampton General and I have had a lovely card from the pre-school.”
Mr and Mrs Luffman host a barbecue in the garden of their home close to the pub during the charity concerts.
Mrs Luffman said: “Us oldies stay in the garden and listen to the music from there rather than getting among the crowds. My husband had been feeling ill for a couple of weeks with fluid on the lung.”
She said he was now recovering well and was due to be moved back to the Royal United Hospital, Bath, when a bed became available.
Mr Luffman first came to All Cannings as an evacuee during the Second World War. He returned to London after the war but came back to the village when he was a young man. He met Cynthia from Potterne when her father went to work on a farm in All Cannings. They have been married for more than 50 years and have two sons.