Scarborough residents rally round after Eastfield man’s near-death experience

Kind-hearted Scarborough residents are rallying round an Eastfield family whose lives have been turned upside down by a heart attack.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 2:03 pm
Laura, Ollie and Oscar on the only visit the children have been able to make to see their dad Andy.

Andy Thorpe, who runs Eastfield Cars taxi service and Eastfield Athletic FC, miraculously survived the cardiac arrest which saw his heart stop for a staggering 15 minutes.

But the 48-year-old dad-of-two has had to be in an induced coma, have a tracheostomy and suffered kidney problems because of sepsis.

He is now awake but faces months in a rehabilitation centre before he can go home.

Andy and Laura

A fundraiser has been launched to help support him, his wife Laura and two young sons and, thanks to generous well-wishers, it has already collected more than £1,000.

“He says he is fine himself and he does sound fine but I think he must be feeling down,” said Laura, 31.

The couple, who have been together for 10 years, have only been able to see each other twice since the heart attack happened in January because of coronavirus restrictions.

Their sons – five-year-old Ollie and three-year-old Oscar – have only been able to visit once and the family have had to spend the last months communicating with Andy via video calls and messages.

Andy Thorpe with his sons Ollie, 5, and Oscar, 3

Andy suffers from asthma and has needed to call paramedics out to use a nebuliser in the past but has never been this ill before.

On January 26, he was coughing and struggling to catch his breath and an ambulance crew decided to admit him to hospital.

In the ambulance on the way there, he suffered the heart attack.

“Apparently his heart stopped for around 15 minutes but they managed to get oxygen into him after eight minutes,” said Laura.

“This is still a very long time to basically be dead.

“They managed to bring him around but due to the seriousness they put him into an induced coma. I was in total shock, and didn’t believe it at first.

“I got another phone call at 2am from a consultant in intensive care saying he was critically poorly and they couldn’t get him to breathe for himself so we’re relying on machines to keep him alive.”

The following weeks saw Andy remain in a coma and suffer from sepsis which had spread to his kidneys.

He had to be put on dialysis and a kidney filter. He also had a tracheostomy and has now regained consciousness.

Andy recently moved from Scarborough Hospital to a rehabilitation centre in York where he could be for up to 12 weeks.

Laura, a mobile carer, was due to start a new job when Andy fell ill but had to delay her start date to care for their children.

“He is able to move his hands and arms now but can’t sit up unaided and can’t stand,” she said. “I have started my job now working nights in a retirement home, which I love, but as we have two young children, I struggle for childcare.

“Weekends and school holidays are hard as I work nights but then am unable to sleep the following day due to the children being at home.

“Fingers crossed Andy will be offered a bed in rehab soon but it’s still going to be a very long recovery process.”

To donate to the fundraiser, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-andys-family