A TEENAGER who was tended to by a Poole paramedic a week before he died in a tragic diving accident says she’ll never forget his kindness.
Student Katie Baughan was moved to tears when she read the Daily Echo story about Dai Rees, who sadly passed away on March 16 while on a charity mission in the Maldives to help the islands’ emergency medical services.
Scores of tributes have already been paid to the 30-year-old who was described as a “larger than life Welshman” and a “highly respected and well-loved guy”.
Katie, who plays football for ladies’ team Mudeford Phoenix, says Dai will always be held in high regard by her family.
She explained: “On Saturday, March 8, I was competing in a ladies’ football cup match against Boscombe Albion.
“Unfortunately this match had to be abandoned as I blacked out and collapsed on the floor.
“Worried spectators called for an ambulance immediately as I could not feel anything from my waist down. A fast response ambulance arrived fairly swiftly and Dai Rees came to my rescue.”
Katie said Dai comforted her until an ambulance came to take her to hospital.
“He was very kind to me and explained to me that everything would be all right, which calmed my nerves down an awful lot,” she said.
“Without his kind words I would not have been as relaxed as I was.”
The schoolgirl, who has since made a full recovery, says when she read about the tragedy in the Maldives a week later, it brought tears to her eyes.
“Dai was a professional at what he did and I understand he worked extremely hard to get the job he longed for,” said Katie.
“I will never forget how well he dealt with the situation regarding me and my family. My thoughts are with his family and friends, they were very lucky to know such a lovely gentleman and I am blessed that I was able to meet him.”