Biker thanks roadside open heart surgery doctor

John O'Brien and Dr Mark Forrest
Image caption Dr Mark Forrest said John O'Brien looked "a lot better than last time" he saw him

A motorcyclist has been reunited with the doctor who performed "last chance" open heart surgery on him in the middle of the road after a crash.

John O'Brien, 47, from Warrington suffered a cardiac arrest following the crash in October.

Dr Mark Forrest said he tried the drastic procedure when all other methods to revive him failed but chances of survival were "so small".

Mr O'Brien thanked him "from the bottom of his heart" at the emotional reunion.

Dr Forrest told him: "Wow. You look a lot better than last time I saw you."

Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Mr O'Brien suffered a cardiac arrest following the crash in October

Mr O'Brien who also broke his back and suffered major injuries to his pelvis, neck and wrist put "100% focus" into walking his daughter Amy down the aisle earlier this month.

He said he wanted to thank the "incredible" people who saved him, particularly Dr Forrest, who was part of the medical team that attended the scene.

'Rarely successful'

Mr O'Brien said he was "deeply grateful" to all the medics, firefighters and police officers for their "determination to keep him alive".

"I can't thank them enough," he added.

Image caption Mr O'Brien was then flown to Aintree University Hospital for further life-saving surgery

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said his chances had looked hopeless as traumatic cardiac arrests are often described as unsurvivable in medical circles.

When there was no response to other methods of resuscitation, the fire service said the only option was a drastic one - to open Mr O'Brien's chest in the middle of the road and operate.

It said remarkably, within minutes, his heart was beating strongly again and he was flown to the Major Trauma Centre at Aintree University Hospital for further life-saving surgery.

Dr Forrest said: "We knew the only chance of saving [him] was to open up his chest to manage his internal injuries and massage his heart until it started beating.

"This is rarely successful, but we did want to at least try."

Dr Forrest was presented with the Chief Fire Officer's Commendation for saving Mr O'Brien at the reunion.

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