Crawley man’s abseil for air ambulance

Bob Taylor who works at B&CE/The People's Pension in Manor Royal, Crawley. He is raising money for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance after being saved by them - picture submitted by the air ambulance
Bob Taylor who works at B&CE/The People's Pension in Manor Royal, Crawley. He is raising money for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance after being saved by them - picture submitted by the air ambulance

A businessman who survived a heart attack at work is to abseil the UK’s tallest sculpture to raise funds for the charity helicopter that helped save his life.

Bob Taylor, 57, was in his office at B&CE/The People’s Pension in Manor Royal Business District, Crawley, when he suddenly collapsed.

His colleague Vicky Allen gave him CPR before paramedics and Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance arrived and he was given emergency treatment by the helicopter’s doctor and critical care paramedic.

Bob has since made a full recovery and is now aiming to raise funds for his company’s Charity of the Year by abseiling the 376ft Arcelormittal Orbit at London’s Olympic Park.

He said: “In a moment of madness when watching The Apprentice last year, I made a throwaway remark to my wife about the treat that Lord Sugar had laid on for the team winning one of the tasks.

“The treat was a free-fall abseil from the top of the Arcelormittal Orbit and I think I said something along the lines of, ‘I bet that would be fantastic’.

“However, I did not then expect to be opening my presents at Christmas and finding among them a picture of the sculpture with a date of June 27 underneath it.

“Oh dear, my wife had booked me an abseiling experience.”

Bob’s cardiac arrest happened just three weeks after a British Heart Foundation advert starring TV hardman Vinnie Jones was first screened, in January, 2012.

His colleague and trained first aider Vicky Allen carried out CPR after seeing the advert which showed the ex-footballer performing chest compressions in time with the Bee Gees’ hit Stayin’ Alive.

Paramedics battled for half an hour to successfully resuscitate Bob before the Redhill-based air ambulance arrived to deliver post-resuscitation care.

The helicopter’s doctor, Magnus Nelson, and critical care paramedic David Wright anaesthetised Bob at the scene to protect his airway and control his breathing before flying him to a specialist coronary unit.

Bob spent four days in intensive care before he was allowed home and was back at work in April that year.

He has previously completed three charity bike rides for the British Heart Foundation.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is taller than Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty and more than double the height of Nelson’s Column.

The air ambulance, relies almost entirely on donations, is celebrating it 25th anniversary this year.

To sponsor Bob go to www.justgiving.com/BobTaylorAbseil

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