A TRAINEE paramedic from Stroud has been reunited with the man who saved her life following a chip-pan accident 22 years ago.

Hannah Portch-Cullis, now 24, was left badly burned after the incident and placed into an induced coma, her parents were told by doctors that their two-year-old daughter was going to die.

Thankfully the swift actions of paramedic Mike Merrett and staff at both the Stroud and Frenchay hospitals meant that Hannah’s life was saved.

Hannah is now coming to the end of her first year as a student paramedic – inspired by the incident she experienced as a toddler – and found out last Saturday (June 3) that the man who helped save her was working alongside her.

She said: “I have wanted to look the man who saved me in the eye and thank him for so many years, but thought the time had come and gone.

“Little did I know that I had been talking to him for months!

He is the reason that I am training now, he is the inspiration for me to become the best paramedic I can and he is the person to whom I owe my life.

“I cannot thank Mike enough for what he did for me and my family, I just hope that one day I can return the favour to others in need.

“This man deserves a knighthood!

“With the terrible things that have happened all around the world recently, it is easy to spread hate.

“This shows that there is still love and kindness in this world.

Hannah, a former Uplands and Archway pupil, is now studying a three-year paramedic science course at Glenside, University of the West of England (UWE), she also works at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital as a healthcare assistant.

When she was only two years old she managed to pull the wire of a chip pan and which fell and gave her full-thickness burns (third and fourth degree).

After being rushed to Stroud Hospital she was transferred to Frenchay in Bristol by Mike.

She had many surgical procedures including skin grafts and spent a lot of time in a body suit to minimise infection and help the wounds to heal.

Hannah, now living with her wife Rachel in Stroud, said: “I have grown up being told of the paramedics and other brilliant medical professionals that saved me, and decided at about the age of five that I wanted to be a paramedic - because of him.

“Because of him and so many others that helped me, I am healthy, married, happy and working towards my dream to become a paramedic.”

The story of Hannah's reunion with Mike quickly spread via Facebook with hundred of comments and shares and more than 2,400 likes.

Mike has been working as a paramedic for the past 48 years, one of the longest serving frontline members in Gloucestershire.

He started in 1969 when the job title was simply ‘ambulance man’ and continues to work for the South West Ambulance Service with no sign of stopping any time soon.

Mike, 68, said: “It’s something you can’t find out in this job, what happens to a patient, I couldn’t follow it up.

“I wasn’t sure what had happened after we brought her in, or even if she had survived.

“I still remember the day it all happened, I didn’t have any idea until Sunday, it really warmed my heart.”