Peterborough man thanks customers and staff at Lightbox Cafe for helping to save his life

A Peterborough man has thanked the customers and staff at The Lightbox Cafe for helping to save his life after he suffered a heart attack.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 6:23 am
Bitnam Singh Khalsa.
Bitnam Singh Khalsa.

On Saturday May 15, Bitnam Singh Khalsa (52) spent the morning at the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Fengate participating in prayers as part of the Sikh celebration of the birth of the 9th Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur Ji.

He then headed to the city centre to visit the vegan market in Cathedral Square.

At around 1:30pm as he walked down Bridge Street, however, he began to feel sweaty and dizzy and felt a pressing sensation in the centre of his chest.

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Bitnam Singh Khalsa.

After sitting down on a bench and hoping the feeling would pass, like similar episodes had done previously, he decided to turn around and head back towards home.

He wasn’t able to make it though and, as the feeling got worse, was forced to ask for assistance at The Lightbox Cafe nearby.

He said: “I parked up at the Asda car park and headed down Bridge Street.

“I was feeling hungry at the time because I had forgotten to have lunch at home. I got as far as Greggs before feeling sweaty and dizzy.

Eve Warner (owner) with husband Matt Warner and cafe manager Julie Harlock

“I managed to sit down on a bench thinking that this might help. I then got up and decided to proceed towards Cathedral Square but by this time I felt like a walking zombie.

“I headed back towards Asda hoping to go home, however, I didn’t make it and when I got to outside Lightbox I was left no choice other than to ask for help.”

Staff at Lightbox moved quickly to help Bitnam, Matt Warner was the first member of staff from Lightbox on the scene, helping him to sit down outside, by which time a customer had already phoned for an ambulance.

When Owner Eve Warner arrived, she noticed what was happening and came outside, she asked if anyone present knew anything about first aid.

Fortunately, one of the customers at the time happened to be a nurse and was able to look after Bitnam until the ambulance arrived. He was then moved inside and laid onto the floor while the ambulance was on its way.

Bitnam was then taken to Kettering General Hospital. In the ambulance, he was given shot of GTN spray under the tongue, some aspirin and two shots of morphine to try to relieve the pain.

When he arrived, doctors implanted three stents into the blocked coronary arteries. This prevented the need for a bypass operation.

After three days recovery in hospital, Bitnam was discharged on Tuesday evening (May 18) and is now back at home.

He added: “Thankfully the staff took my plea for help seriously.

“My condition got worse so they moved me indoors and laid me down on the floor.

“The ambulance seemed to take forever to arrive but once there they carried out their initial assessment before taking me to the ambulance where they continued their work for around 10 mins.

“I was told they were taking me to Kettering General Hospital (KGH) as that is the nearest facility for the condition I had.

“The NHS staff in the Coronary Care Unit were absolutely amazing and very caring and this helped with my initial recovery leading to my discharge on Tuesday evening.

“I would like to say a big thank you to: God for giving me a second chance, Lightbox staff and their customers that helped me, the ambulance Service, Consultant Cardiologists at KGH, Staff at the Coronary Care Unit KGH, my family, colleagues, friends and associates for the moral support they have given to my family.

Lightbox Owner Eve added: “We are all more than pleased that Bitnam is going to be ok.

“Ever since that day, all of the staff that were there were asking how he was but unfortunately we had no way of finding out.

“It was wonderful to meet up with his son when he came in to thank us and let us know, we’ve also been in touch with his daughter too.

“For us, it’s just wonderful to be able to help and know that what we did made a difference.”