A taxi driver has been reunited with a paramedic who saved his life after a brutal and unprovoked assault by an armed gang.
Stef Shaw, 51, was celebrating his nephew’s 25th birthday at a party in Glasgow in January 2006 when three men burst into the house armed with a meat-cleaver, knives and nunchucks.
One of the attackers tried to strike him on the head with a cleaver, but as Mr Shaw attempted to block him the weapon instead caught his elbow, slicing it open.
The father-of-two was also stabbed with a knife, with a wound to his abdomen rupturing a major artery.
Three men were jailed for the attack in 2006 but Mr Shaw, from Baillieston in Glasgow, never had a chance to thank in person the paramedics who treated him after the attack – which left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and recurring nightmares.
However a visit to the Glasgow East ambulance station this week resulted in a chance meeting with one of the crew who treated him.
Suzy Hope, a paramedic team leader, and her now-retired colleague George Glass were at the scene of the attack within 90 seconds of being called out.
Mr Shaw said: “I asked her ‘do you recognise me at all?’ She said ‘yes, you are the taxi driver who was stabbed’.
“She remembered me straight away. It was a wee bit emotional, explaining how ill I had been. It was an unprovoked attack from people who I had never seen in my life.
“I still get a little bit emotional when I think about it. It left me very ill – I almost died.
“The quick time it took them to arrive was absolutely paramount to my survival.
“I may not have survived if they hadn’t arrived so quickly. The paramedics saved my life that day. I am here because of the paramedics and I have also had massive support from the NHS.”
Ms Hope recalled how Mr Shaw was being treated in hospital within 12 minutes of the ambulance being dispatched.
She said: “We had only just made it to the station gate when we received the 999 call, which advised that three people had been attacked in an unprovoked assault, utilising weapons.
“On entering the property, it was evident that weapons had been used on three victims. We quickly established our patient priorities by triaging all three victims and came to the conclusion that Stef, who was lying on the floor, semi-conscious and bleeding profusely from a variety of wounds, was most in need.
“Stef’s condition was unstable, and critical. I remember Stef begging me not to let him die, he told me he had two kids.
“It was great to have a visit from Stef. He has always been very grateful that we saved him from life limiting injuries or in fact death.
“We don’t really see it like that, we were just doing what we do, the best that we can do it.”
The paramedic also gave her backing to Mr Shaw’s campaign to have vandal-proof, emergency phones sited along the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.
Mr Shaw will present more details of his proposals to a meeting of the Glasgow Water Safety Group at Glasgow City Council later this month.