A FROME man whose life was saved by the local Air Ambulance team has raised over £8,000 in thanks.

In August 2023, Mike MacCallam experienced a sudden cardiac arrest at Frome Sport & Fitness. The centre is operated by Fusion Lifestyle, of which Mike is a member.

The team at the centre took action and carried out lifesaving treatment while they waited for crews from the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Once they arrived, they quickly conveyed Mike to hospital in Bristol.

Since then, Mike has made a full recovery.

Earlier this year, he urged people to 'get sportaneous’.  He organised three teams of friends and family members to complete a challenge at the leisure centre, to run and cycle 200 miles, the distance from Frome to Land's End, in just eight hours.

This included George Brint, a fitness instructor at the centre. George carried out lifesaving treatment on Mike when he was taken ill.

The team surpassed the fundraising goal of £3,500 and managed to raise an impressive £8,127.35. Mike's friends and family raised £1,000 of this total by selling homemade cakes.

To help boost the money pot, Fusion Lifestyle opened the doors of the centre and offered taster sessions in swimming, group cycling and more.

Mike MacCallam presented the cheque to Anita, a volunteer with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. He was joined by centre manager Jo Morgan.

Tracy Bartram, communications manager at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted that Mike has made such a good recovery following his cardiac arrest.

"Mike’s incredible recovery and outcome are both largely due to the immediate bystander CPR that he received that day. His story is a great example of the chain of survival and the importance of early CPR in the cardiac arrest situation.

“With no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery, our life-saving service relies on the generosity of the public to help us raise over £10M each year.

"With the approximate cost of one mission equating to £3,500, the funds raised will enable our crew to help patients today, tomorrow and in the future.”