Vets save dog owner who had heart attack

Jacky and Hamish Ritchie, with their dog Penny, and Galedin Vets vet Robbie Norquary and receptionist Sheila Fleming.
Jacky and Hamish Ritchie, with their dog Penny, and Galedin Vets vet Robbie Norquary and receptionist Sheila Fleming.

A Coldstream man who was saved by two Kelso vets when he had a heart attack outside their surgery has donated money towards a defibrillator that will be kept outside the premises.

Hamish Ritchie and his wife Jacky had been visiting the garden centre in Kelso in September last year and as they passed the Galedin Vets surgery at The Knowes, Hamish collapsed.

Jacky stopped the car went into the vets, where they take their pet Schnauzer, to get help and vets Robbie Norquay and Michael Kyle carried Hamish into the surgery and performed CPR on him while receptionist Sheila Fleming rang for an ambulance.

Sheila then drove Jacky to the hospital to be with her husband.

Their quick-thinking actions helped save Hamish’s life and he has made a full recovery after three weeks in Borders General Hospital and having surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Hamish and Jacky returned to Galedin Vets Kelso surgery last week to say thank you and as a token of appreciation 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.

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 Ritchie have kindly donated some money for a defibrillator at the surgery and we have contributed to the rest of the cost.”

Jacky said: “It was an extremely frightening ordeal but the team at Galedin were absolutely wonderful. Hamish collapsed on my shoulder while I was driving so I quickly drove to the vets as we know them very well as we are clients.

“They called paramedics and the ambulance arrived very quickly, but they were so supportive throughout the whole distressing incident.”

Galedin Vets staff have undergone training to use the defibrillator with Kelso Heartbeat, a charity that provides basic life support training.