A POLICE officer has spoken of the frightening moment he suffered a heart attack while at church on Sunday saying it was “the closest I have been to death.”
Chief Inspector Roy Robinson had to have a stent fitted after one of his arteries was “completely blocked” and may now need to undergo a bypass.
“I kept thinking that this could not be true, I still don’t believe it is true that a man at 57 years of age could take a heart attack. 
“My life flashed before me,” he said, speaking to The Impartial Reporter from his hospital bed.
Mr. Robinson had been praying in the church in Enniskillen when he began to feel considerable pain in his chin and stepped out to get some fresh air before taking a drink from a tap in the bathroom. 
“I felt faint, the pain was coming down my neck, into my shoulders, I collapsed into the car,” he said, with his wife racing him to South West Acute Hospital.
During that short journey Mr. Robinson said he suffered a heart attack somewhere between Donnelly’s Roundabout and the roundabout at the hospital.
“I got to the hospital desk and I said to the girl, please, please, it’s my heart, my heart, let me into casualty. 
“I could feel the whole pressure, the pain was horrendous,” he said. 
A man who was standing near the front desk and recognised Mr. Robinson rushed to assist him, allowing the seriously ill father of two to drape his arm around him. 
“I could barely walk. The next I knew I was on the hospital bed, there were six or seven people around me. 
“Then a defibrillator was used, and oxygen, and spray was applied under my tongue, morphine was injected into me, and I had two needles in each arm.”
Less than 10 minutes later Mr. Robinson was in an ambulance bound for Altnagelvin Area Hospital and as they made their way to Londonderry the vehicle was almost involved in a road traffic collision. 
“We were going at a tremendous speed when a driver pulled out straight in front of the ambulance. I remember the heavy braking and the paramedic who was in with me was thrown off the seat and thrown forward into the ambulance.
“Somehow that driver got the ambulance straightened up and arrived at the Altnagelvin. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be alive, I want to thank them for the wonderful job they did,” he said.
Once he was in theatre, he recalls how the lights went dim and doctors and nurses released a stent to clear his blocked artery.
“The relief that went out of my body in three or four minutes when they got to work, I could feel the utter relief and the pressure coming off my head and my chest,” explained Roy.
He may have to undergo a bypass in the coming months. 
Mr. Robinson expressed his sincere appreciation to all the hospital staff at South West Acute Hospital and the Altnagelvin describing them as “absolutely outstanding.”
“I so appreciate what they do and if they were paid double it wouldn’t even be enough,” he said.
The Fermanagh man, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1985, 1986 and 1988, said he “can’t believe” he survived. 
“One of the sisters in the ward said she hadn’t seen a cardiograph that bad in all the years she has worked here. She told me I was fortunate to be alive.
“And you know, I am a survivor but this is the closest I have been to death,” he said.