ADVERTISEMENT: Services or products are not endorsed by the Trust.

NHS pharmacist wins Healthcare Award after coming to the rescue at 20,000 feet

Image for NHS pharmacist wins Healthcare Award after coming to the rescue at 20,000 feet
NHS pharmacist wins Healthcare Award after coming to the rescue at 20,000 feet

25th July 2023 - Press Releases and Statements

A pharmacist who helped an elderly man who began to have seizures on an aeroplane has been presented with a Healthcare Hero award by the man he helped.

Travelling on holiday with his family from Birmingham to Cyprus, Stephen Payne – a pharmacist at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust – provided urgent medical care and support to an elderly patient who was suffering with epileptic seizures.

Alan Brettell, 73 who was travelling with his wife Rose Brettell, 67 herself a former Black Country and Dudley nurse suddenly began to convulse an hour into the flight and Stephen along with Rose sprang to the rescue.

Alan has suffered with epilepsy since childhood but this doesn’t usually take the form of seizures, so it was a very difficult situation for all involved. He told us: “Stephen was absolutely brilliant and having him on the plane was such a wonderful coincidence. I am really grateful for his support during the flight and it just shows that even at 20,000 feet NHS workers are always ready to help.”

Alan’s wife Rose said: “It was a very challenging situation but with the help of Stephen we managed to make it to Cyprus and enjoy our holiday. The chances of us being sat in front of a former colleague from Russells Hall Hospital was incredible and we will always be grateful to him for his help.”

Incredibly Stephen held his arms around Alan to help comfort, support him and keep his safe from harm for the remaining two hours of the flight and he also remained on the aeroplane after landing whilst a Cypriot ambulance arrived.

The monthly Healthcare Heroes awards of which Stephen was the July recipient are presented to individuals and teams with the Dudley Group who have achieved something above and beyond their role and this certainly fits the bill.

Trust Chief Executive Diane Wake who presented the award said: “We have had so many deserving winners of these awards in recent years but Stephen’s actions in helping Alan are fantastic. Not only does it show what a great healthcare professional he is, but also what a wonderful human being.”