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Barningham father who suffered heart attack at wheel while driving with wife and two young daughters thanks his 'life savers' at RAF Honington




A father who suffered a heart attack at the wheel while driving with his wife and two young daughters has praised the ‘life-saving’ actions of RAF personnel who rushed to his aid.

Darren Ruck, 40, had just driven past RAF Honington in his pick-up truck on Father’s Day (Sunday, June 21) on the way for a family bike ride in Brandon when his head slumped down and his hands fell into his lap.

With his wife Marie and daughters Amelia-Lily, seven, and Ella-Mae, four, screaming at him to wake up, Marie grabbed the steering wheel and they crashed into some trees, in Green Lane.

Darren Ruck with his family (centre) during his visit to RAF Honington to meet the personnel who saved his life - Cpl Sam Waugh, Cpl Ed Stanley, the Ruck family, ACs Thomas Allan and Troy Taylor-Morgan
Darren Ruck with his family (centre) during his visit to RAF Honington to meet the personnel who saved his life - Cpl Sam Waugh, Cpl Ed Stanley, the Ruck family, ACs Thomas Allan and Troy Taylor-Morgan

Darren, who can’t remember the events of that day, said: “It was like I was asleep. It was a very frightening experience for them.”

His brother-in-law James Farrow had been driving in front with his family and rushed to help along with trainee Gunners Aircraftsmen Thomas Allan and Troy Taylor-Morgan, who were returning to the station. They removed Darren via the back seat of the vehicle due to the damage and, as he was in and out of consciousness, Corp Ed Stanley drove by with his wife, a nurse, and she began CPR. She was joined by Corp Alexander Bates and Corp Sam Waugh, who assisted.

Darren, of Barningham, said: “I was taken to Papworth Hospital but they couldn’t do anything with my heart because I had a liver laceration from the seat belt.”

Darren’s father Graham Ruck, Darren Ruck, Marie Ruck, and their two daughters
Darren’s father Graham Ruck, Darren Ruck, Marie Ruck, and their two daughters

On the Monday, he suffered another heart attack and had three stents fitted. He was transferred to Addenbrooke’s and returned home after three weeks with a defibrillator fitted.

Last Thursday, Darren returned to RAF Honington to thank those who helped him.

He said: “They, my wife and brother-in-law saved my life without a doubt. They and the emergency services were just amazing.

“I feel very lucky. Someone was definitely looking over me that day.

“They (the RAF Honington personnel) were literally passing. If that had been anywhere else, it could have been a very different story. Thank you to the guys at Honington and all the emergcncy services.”

Darren was a lorry driver but is unable to continue with the job following his heart attack.

“I hadn’t felt ill, that’s the weird bit about it,” he added.

“It’s scary, you literally never know.

“I’m just getting my strength back and walking as much as I can so I’m not far off back to normal.”

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