On Wednesday night (July 22) my husband, Keith (65), took ill working out on the rowing machine. The heart monitor he was wearing showed a very rapid pulse. He rested during the evening but became worse after going to bed. His pulse was extremely irregular.

We called NHS 24. They were efficient, effective and called an ambulance. Our wonderful neighbour Jane Spurgeon who is a nurse, came to support us. She offered practical help and reassurance. Within 20 minutes a car arrived with Jean McNab, a First Responder. I had never heard of this service but she brought medical equipment, calmness, efficiency and kindness, all of which were much appreciated. She carried out tests and checks and reassured us. Because of our remote location we were surprised when shortly afterwards, the ambulance arrived from Dalkeith with the two most amazing, professional paramedics, Mark and John, who took control. They worked quickly and efficiently using hi-tech machinery to assess the situation, while at the same time reassuring us and keeping us calm.

Once the initial assessments were completed the wonderful First Responder left - her job was complete. She had our sincere gratitude. We were driven to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary while assessments continued. Mark and John were outstanding and meticulous in their care and delivered us safely to A&E with a detailed history of events. We couldn’t thank them enough.

A&E doctors and nurses worked quickly and efficiently to diagnose the problem. Not a minute was wasted or lost. They kept us fully informed at all times. When initial fears of a heart attack were allayed and medication given, we discovered that Keith had atrial fibrillation (an uneven heartbeat). We were treated with pillows and blankets so we could rest, as we waited to be transferred to the coronary ward. What kindness was shown!

For the following 12 hours Keith was looked after, tested, re-tested, examined and monitored. We spoke to highly professional, caring and skilled consultants, doctors and nurses whose names I’m afraid I did not manage to retain. Their explanations were detailed, frank and understandable. Their care and compassion were outstanding. We left within 24 hours, completely understanding atrial fibrillation despite never having heard of it before.

We think The Scottish Ambulance Service (including the First Responder) and NHS Scotland gave us fantastic service. We would like to thank all the people who helped us - our calm neighbour, Jane Spurgeon, Jean McNab (First Responder) Mark and John (Ambulance Team), A&E Staff and the Coronary Ward Staff. They do wonderful work and deserve much praise and recognition. We are extremely grateful to them.

I am, etc.

Pam Thomas West Linton