FAMILY of Devizes great grandad Brian Marshall believe he would not have been alive to celebrate his 81st birthday on Sunday if it had not been for Wiltshire Air Ambulance medics.
Mr Marshall suffered a heart attack on the day he and his wife June moved into Crammer Court but within minutes a medical team from Wiltshire Air Ambulance arrived at his home and then the Great Western Air Ambulance landed on The Green.
When paramedics and a doctor arrived at his home on February 25 he was collapsed on the floor and had to be resuscitated.
His daughter Janet Holmes said: "If it had not been for the air ambulance staff we do not think he would still be with us. They definitely saved his life. We can't thank or praise them enough and we will be organising some sort of fundraiser in the near future."
Mr Marshall, who for many years ran businesses in Devizes including a café called Griddle Grill in the Market Place and a sweet shop called Marshalls Stores in Southbroom Road, also thanked the paramedics who came to his rescue.
His wife June, 77, and the rest of his family that include three children, 12 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren, were delighted that he was back home in time to celebrate his birthday.
Mrs Holmes said: "My dad is so grateful to the air ambulance medical team and tells everyone he would not be here if it was not for them. My mum is upset as she was not with him when it happened as she was back at their old house collecting a few things. They will have been married 59 years next month and are always together."
Luckily Mr Marshall's brother John was with him and rang 999. Mrs Holmes said: "If it had not been for John being there and acting quickly he would have been terrible."
Mr Marshall was flown to Bristol Royal Infirmary and treated in intensive care and was allowed home last Thursday. Mr Marshall and his wife met when he returned to Bishops Cannings from National Service in Hong Kong and started working at the same flax factory in Devizes.
David Philpott, chief executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted to hear Brian is back home and recovering. Our paramedics attended in our rapid response car followed by our base doctor Ed Valentine and they gave Brian critical care treatment.
“Very occasionally our own helicopter is off-line undergoing maintenance and this was one of those situations. As such, the default protocol is to request assistance from a neighbouring air ambulance under mutual aid reciprocal arrangements and so we called Great Western Air Ambulance who airlifted Brian to hospital.”