Family of man who died just one hour after taking selfie raises money for Great North Air Ambulance

Neil Pollard died just one hour after taking a selfie. Credit: Great North Air Ambulance Service

The family of a man who died just one hour after taking a selfie have raised money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Neil Pollard, from Kendal, was riding his bike around his local area and took a photo to mark his day. Just one hour later though he collapsed and died.

Neil Pollard's wife Tracy arrived at the scene 11 minutes after her husband collapsed. She said: “A lovely man called Dave was giving him CPR and then a defibrillator from the village hall arrived and was used. After that, Kerry, a first aid responder from Endmoor arrived, followed shortly by the North West Ambulance Service and Terry and Theo from the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

“Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts Neil could not be saved. A post mortem showed he had suffered an acute cardiac arrest due to a blood clot.

“We were totally unaware that he had any health issues at all, he had never smoked or drank and hadn’t eaten meat for the last 10 years. He exercised regularly and was always the first one up a hill on a steep bike ride.”

After the incident, the Pollard family set up a JustGiving page to raise money for a defibrillator with the remainder being donated to GNAAS.

Tracy said: “As a family we always try and pay it forward and it just seemed appropriate that we try and make something positive out of the worst imaginable thing to happen to us all.

“It became very obvious very quickly that everyone who had been connected in some way to Neil felt that they wanted to donate, and we raised an amazing total of £9,200, meaning we could buy two defibrillators for the local area and contribute £5,200 to GNAAS.”

The money raised by the family will help to fund more than one mission by GNAAS and they recently visited the charity’s base in Langwathby, Penrith, to present a cheque to Dr Theo Weston MBE and paramedic Terry Sharpe who tried to help Mr Pollard.

More than £5,000 was raised for GNAAS. Credit: GNAAS

Mrs Pollard said: “When we were asked if as a family we would like to visit the team at the GNAAS base we jumped at the chance, so we could say thank you and show how much we appreciated everyone’s expertise and training to try and help Neil at the scene.

“Although he didn’t survive, as a family we cannot be more grateful for all the help that he was given at the scene.

“The visit to the base simply cemented how amazing we think the service is and particularly the people who work there.

“We saw a team who cared about the way they do their job, and it was humbling to find that they were genuinely upset that they had not managed to save Neil.”

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