10 Oct 2018

Heartfelt thanks for British steel lifesavers

A British Steel employee who suffered a cardiac arrest at work earlier this year has expressed a heartfelt thanks to the colleagues and medics who saved his life.

Tom Serri (51), suffered a major heart attack in May when he was working at the company’s Scunthorpe Rail and Section Mill (SRSM). Three of Tom’s colleagues quickly responded using an on-site defibrillator to restart Tom’s heart and he was rushed to hospital for life-saving treatment.

Sadly the father-of-two suffered a Hypoxic brain injury as a result of the incident and spent 10 days in Intensive Care at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull. He has since undergone extensive rehabilitation at a neurological rehabilitation unit in Goole and is now back on his feet and making great progress.

As a tribute to the three colleagues and the medical staff involved Tom and his family organised a fundraising event to raise money for the intensive care and neurological units which cared for him.

This event - together with fundraising activities carried out by Tom’s colleagues at British Steel - raised £4,000 for the two medical departments.

“Thanks to all friends and family for their support at the charity night and for being so caring over the last few difficult months,” said Tom.

“I can’t thank the three first aiders enough for their quick response in saving my life. We are very grateful for all the support and generosity from donations sent by work colleagues at British Steel.”

The three colleagues who assisted Tom in May were Kenny McGready, Rick Land and Mark Haber.

“We got a call in the morning on a Bank Holiday 2-10 shift to say Tom was having chest pains and had been taken to a welfare area,” recalls Team Leader Kenny McGready.

“Mark and I went to see how we was and we were shocked to find him collapsed on the floor. Rick and Mark started resuscitating him while I went to get the defibrillator, and then we shocked him 6 times.

“It felt like hours before the ambulance arrived but really it was all happening very quickly as we’d all gone into autopilot. Once the East Midlands Ambulance Service arrived at the scene they stabilised Tom and took him to the Accident and Emergency Department at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

“That week at work was horrific. We didn’t know if he was going to be alright and we were feeling guilty that maybe we could have done more to help Tom.

“When you go on a first aid course and learn how to use a defibrillator you never think you’re going to be using one, so it was strange to find ourselves in a situation where we had a colleague’s life in our hands.

“It’s been great to see Tom back on his feet and although we know he’s still got a long way to go we know what a determined character he is and we’re looking forward to seeing him back at work.”

Plant Manager at SRSM, John Patrick, said; “We don’t even want to consider what could have happened if our colleagues hadn’t acted quickly to keep Tom alive until the arrival of the ambulance service. All three first aiders responded in a professional way in very challenging circumstances to save the life of a very popular and well-respected colleague.”