London medic reunited with colleague who saved husband’s life 21 years ago

Video report by ITV News Reporter Chloe Keedy

An ambulance crew member says she has found “closure” after being reunited with the medic who saved her husband’s life 21 years ago.

Ellie Taylor, 53, had spent years searching for the medic who provided care for her late husband Paul, who was left with serious injuries when he was hit by a drunk driver in 1999.

Now, more than two decades on and the pair have met in an unusual twist of fate – as London Ambulance Service crewmates responding to a 999 call after her usual colleague was self-isolating with Covid-19.

London Ambulance Service medical technician Dave Townsend Credit: London Ambulance Service

Mrs Taylor, from Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, was paired up with LAS emergency medical technician Dave Townsend, 61, for the first time on a 12-hour shift in October.

But it was only when Mrs Taylor talked about how her taxi driver husband was left with life-changing brain damage from the incident that their past connection dawned on them.

Mr Townsend, from Royston, Hertfordshire, said he had immediately asked her: “Was he a black-cab driver and he had gone to get himself a kebab?”

He said: “Some jobs, they just always stick with you. I always did wonder what had happened to Paul after that night. We usually receive the coroner’s report if a patient dies and because didn’t receive one I always hoped that he had recovered and went on to live a fulfilling life.”

Mrs Taylor’s husband was aged just 37 when he was struck by a vehicle moments after buying food during a night shift.

Ellie Taylor with her late husband Paul Credit: London Ambulance Service

The driver, who was over the drink-drive limit, was caught after leaving the scene and eventually jailed for nine months for dangerous driving.

But Mrs Taylor’s husband – a father of three – spent the next 19 years in a 24-hour care nursing home as a result of his injuries. He died last year, aged 58, the LAS said.

Former healthcare assistant Mrs Taylor said: “It’s so bittersweet thinking about the moments that have been robbed from Paul, like seeing his three wonderful children grow up to get married and now having grandchildren.

“That’s been taken away from him and that can be heart-breaking thinking about that.”

Photo of Paul Taylor taken before the accident Credit: London Ambulance Service

Mrs Taylor, who joined the LAS after being “inspired” by her husband’s care, added: “By finally meeting Dave, I feel I have closure on that now.

“I have made a great friend – one I know I will keep forever – we are bonded in some sort of way.”