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Simon's Story

29th May, 2024

At Interflora we know a bouquet is never just a bunch of flowers: it’s a celebration or a commiseration, a sharing of joy, or a mark of thanks. There’s a story behind each and every delivery and with the permission of our customers, we’re sharing some of the most powerful ones. This is Simon’s story.

Everything got turned upside down

Simon, from Yorkshire, who runs a local travel agency describes himself as just a normal guy. He lives in Yorkshire with his wife, two children and their family dog, a cockerpoo named Bella.

Last December, Simon’s life took an unexpected turn. He’d just logged off after a day’s work from his home office and suddenly found himself struggling for breath.

“I’ve always suffered with Asthma, so initially I put it down to that. However, within moments, I knew it was something more serious. I called to my wife to come upstairs and by the time she reached me I was fighting for every breath. In that moment everything got turned upside down.

“I remember my wife calling 999 and all I could think of was my daughter downstairs and how I didn’t want her to see me in this way. My lips were blue.

“Of course, it felt like a lifetime for the paramedics to arrive. When they did, they told me they needed to get me to the hospital right away. Unbeknown to me, one of my lungs had collapsed and the other was not far behind.

“On the way to hospital I stopped breathing in the ambulance. The crew stopped so that the paramedics could revive me. They saved my life.

“It was a scary time – but thankfully, I only spent three days in hospital, and then was able to return home where I started to recover.”

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How do you go about thanking the people who saved your life?

“That time spent in hospital was a time of reflection for me. I was convinced that, if it wasn’t for the actions of the paramedics I wouldn’t be here today. My family would be without a husband and father.

“I really wanted to show my gratitude but how do you go about thanking the people who saved your life? In any case, I had no idea who the paramedics were and how to contact them.

“My first port of call was the local ambulance HQ. I asked if they could put me in touch with the paramedics so I could thank them in person but because of data protection laws they couldn’t give me any information. I was so disappointed. I really wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Doing so would also help bring some kind of closure to the whole experience.

“Just as I was about to give up hope, my daughter was telling her friend the story at school and by some incredible coincidence it turned out that one of the paramedics - a lady named Sonja - was a family friend.

“I decided to order flowers to my house, so that I could hand deliver them to my daughter’s friends’ home – to pass onto Sonya.

I wrote a message with the flowers, which read… ”Sonja, your actions last week certainly saved my life and I will never forget it. I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and hopefully have some well-deserved rest - thank you just does not seem enough, lots of love Simon”

“I have never actually met Sonya in person… But I would love to. Just to say thank you. Because, she really did save my life, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.”

A huge thank you to Simon for sharing this incredible story. If you’ve got a story to share, you’ll find us on all the usual social channels – we’d love to hear from you.

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