28.04.2011 Groom makes big day thanks to crew
A NEWLYWED couple will jet off on their honeymoon tomorrow (Friday), after a quick-thinking ambulance crew and doctor saved their big day.
Max Smith, 42, was struck down with crippling back pain on the morning of his wedding (Sunday) when he was due to marry fiancée Julie, 34.
He said: “I was with friends getting ready and we were planning on having a leisurely breakfast but as I walked up the stairs I collapsed in agony, I was on all-fours and couldn’t move.”
Max frantically called his wife-to-be, who was getting her hair and make-up done, and the trainee nurse advised him to call an ambulance.
London Ambulance Service crew Kate Peoples, Neve Mellett and Sarah Wheatley arrived within minutes, with just four hours to go before the vows were due to be exchanged.
Sarah, who was first on scene, said: “Max was in a lot of pain, but was desperate to get to his wedding so we knew we had to do what we could to get him there.”
If they had given Max morphine for the pain, they would have needed to take him to hospital and he would have missed his wedding, but the quick-thinking crew asked ambulance control staff to see if the local immediate care doctor was available, to administer some stronger pain relief.
Steve Vaughan-Smith, a local GP, who is also a BASICS doctor*, was busy decorating his house when he got the call. He said: “It was a very unusual call, with there being only hours until the patient’s wedding. He had a muscle spasm and was in severe pain. As a GP, I was able to give him some stronger medication to ease the pain.”
Laundry worker Max added: “When they said I might need to go to hospital I started to well up, because I wanted to get married so badly. After the medication the pain started to ease and I could get up and move around.”
Worried about Max getting in and out of his car, the crew decided to take him in the ambulance to Q Vardis restaurant in Uxbridge where the ceremony and reception took place.
He added: “I got really emotional during the ceremony because I was so pleased to be there and when I started crying, everyone started. I had to stand up throughout the whole thing, but my wife was just relieved I was there.
“The ambulance team and doctor who treated me deserve to be paid a million pounds for what they do – they went so far beyond their duty and we’re so grateful to them – we can’t thank them enough.”
Max and Julie, from Hillingdon, will enjoy a long weekend in Venice for their honeymoon.
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- *BASICS doctor (immediate care doctors are specialists, trained to provide medical support at the scene of an accident or major medical emergency, or while patients are in transit to hospital). For more information visit http://www.basics.org.uk/