A Cape Flats father says he owes his life to an off-duty paramedic who saved him after he suffered a heart attack on a bus.
Speaking from his home yesterday, a weak Deon Hendricks, 44, tells Daily Voice he hoped to meet his hero soon to thank him.
“I just want to say thank you for what he did. He saved my life and you rarely get people who do that.”
Deon was travelling in a Golden Arrow bus to his workplace in Woodstock on Tuesday when he got severe chest pains.
A few minutes later, the Strandfontein dad of two was “clinically dead”.
Lucky for him, ER24 paramedic Asaph Alexander, 39,of Mitchells Plain was on the same bus and leapt into action.
The medic was on his way to work at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Asaph told Daily Voice that he could not detect breathing or a heartbeat, and realised Deon was clinically dead.
He had “only a few minutes” – once all the oxygen left the heart cavity, there would have been nothing he could do to save Deon.
“I knew he was having a heart attack. I began doing chest compressions. After that there was what we call “Rocs”, which is the return of spontaneous circulation,” Asaph explained.
He told the bus driver to go to the Ottery Fire Station, where paramedics were waiting.
Deon was transferred to Victoria Hospital and discharged later the same day.
Sounding weak after his close brush with death, Deon says: “He knew exactly what to do; he was so professional and worked quickly.
“If it wasn’t for him, I’d be six-feet under, I really appreciate it. I owe him my life.”