Graham Beswick

You don’t know what you have, until it’s gone. I pray that you never need Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), but I pray that if you do need it KSS is there for you, like it was for me.  

Since my cardiac arrest in 2018, I’ve tried to do whatever I can for KSS, to raise awareness, donate money and raise funds when I can. 

My wife Sarah and I have had the chance to learn what this amazing charity has to do each day to raise money so that it can carry on its work and give these professional people the chance to save lives. The lives of people like me. 

Shortly after returning to the clubhouse following a round of golf, I knew things weren’t right when I started to experience strange involuntary muscle spasms in my chest and arms.  

I’d been taking part in a society golf day at Upchurch River Valley Golf Course and suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.  

Thanks to the combined efforts of my brother, who administered CPR, and fellow golfers, the emergency services were called and I was treated by SECAmb paramedics who were first on the scene. The crew from KSS arrived shortly afterward and provided me with further lifesaving treatment and a vital transfer to hospital. 

I remember going out to the patio where I collapsed. Later I could hear voices telling me help was on the way and through watery vision I remember seeing two green suited paramedics. 

This was quickly followed by a paramedic in a red flight suit who told me they were loading me onto the Air Ambulance to take me immediately to the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford. 

While being treated at the William Harvey, it was discovered that I had Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a genetic heart condition that can lead to periods of rapid heart rate and bring on a sudden cardiac arrest, caused by an extra electrical pathway in the heart. 

I only have to shut my eyes and I can recall waking up, in hospital. The doctor leaned over me and took his mask off, saying, “It’s ok! You haven’t had a heart attack, and your arteries are in a pretty good condition.” I replied “Thanks” 

At that point I was still completely oblivious at to what had gone on, or where I was. I lay there watching people move around the room, checking on others in beds to my left and going about their work in quiet.  

I then heard voices in the corridor outside to my right, one of them I recognised as Sarah. The door eventually opened and she came in, walked round the bed, gave me a kiss and smiled, through her glassed-over eyes and with tears on her cheeks.  

She held my hand, and said “you’re so cold.” I still didn’t really know where I was, but I knew, at that point I was ok. My emotions exploded like a volcano, I said “I’m sorry!” although I didn’t know what for, or the worry that I had caused. 

After nine days in hospital, I was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London for a heart ablation treatment to correct the fault, before returning home to my wife and family. 

The support from the NHS was amazing and I had rehabilitation at Darent Valley Hospital, as well as cardio psychology support at King’s Hospital in London after suffering with panic attacks before returning to work four months later. 

I’m self-employed and knew I had to get back to work, but I’ve chosen to focus on landscaping, rather than heavier building work, as this enables me to set my own targets and schedule which means I’m under less pressure. 

It’s still tough to think back about that day in Upchurch, as the paramedics later told me I’d died for 23 minutes and without their help and the crew of the air ambulance I wouldn’t be here today. 

The ironic thing is that I’ve always wanted to take a flight in a helicopter, but I never expected that my first one would be aboard the air ambulance, in a way I’m gutted that I can’t remember it but very grateful they were there to save my life.” 

Paramedic Adam Ormrod and Dr Kevin Enright from KSS cared for Graham.  

Adam recalls, “We were returning from another incident when we were tasked to go to Graham. We landed on a fairway and it was a short walk to the clubhouse. 

“All the hard work had been done by staff, Graham’s friends and SECAmb. He received really prompt CPR – this care was vital and probably the main factor in his survival and good recovery. 

“We gave him some sedation and painkillers and flew him to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford as it was the local cardiac centre. 

“It was great to meet Graham when he came to visit us at Rochester and it’s fantastic to see that he has become a keen supporter of the charity. Through his commitment he will go on to have a positive effect on the care that we are able to provide to other people.”   

Graham with his wife Sarah and dog Betty
Graham and Sarah Beswick taking part in our Heli Hike in Kent
The paramedics later told me I’d died for 23 minutes and without their help and the crew of the air ambulance I wouldn’t be here today.  

Graham Beswick

The air ambulance is a lifesaving service that the world can’t do without.  

 It’s a well-oiled machine and there would be no lifesaving, without every single person that is involved. It’s not just the pilots, doctors and paramedics. It’s the engineers, cleaners, the fundraising team, the aftercare team, and the amazing volunteers and every single person who supports this charity.  

 This is why Sarah and I love having the chance to do everything we can to help. We volunteered to help out as part of the meet and greet team at Guildford Cathedral for the Christmas Carol Concert just gone. We had a chance to talk to some of hundreds of members of the public. I soon forgot my nerves, and felt a warming glow inside. I want to do more for this awesome charity. 

Graham meeting the KSS and SECAmb crew who helped him

Our patients are at the centre of what we do.

There is nothing more heart-warming for our team than when a former patient gets in touch and wants to visit us. If you, or a family member, has been a patient of ours and would like to get in touch, we would love to hear from you. 

Saving lives when every second counts

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top