Press Association story: Ex-surgeon relives attack aftermath

By Soraya Auer – published by Press Association

A retired heart surgeon who helped save the life of a police officer after a frenzied knife attack described today the bloody scene he stumbled across.

Samad Tadjkarimi, 65, was returning from Christmas shopping in Ealing, west London, when he found Pc Paul Madden, 23, lying in the street with “horrendous injuries” to his neck.

He said: “As I turned my head round, I noticed an officer lying on the pavement – lots of dark blood on the right side of his neck.

“I turned my attention to him immediately and I compressed his neck, holding it.”

Pc Madden was attacked by John Onyenaychi, 30, near Ealing bus station after the officer recognised Onyenaychi as a suspect for a previous knife attack at a taxi office.

Mr Tadjkarimi, who had retired from Harefield hospital three weeks before, said: “Although he (Pc Madden) looked pale, obviously due to the volume of blood lost, he was calm. I reassured him that he would be fine and the ambulance would be there any second.”

Onyenaychi, of Wise Road, Stratford, east London, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, robbery and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.

The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont said: “Paul Madden would have died within 2-3 minutes – such was the loss of his blood – without the help he received from the passing retired doctor.”

The judge praised Mr Tadjkarimi’s quick-thinking and awarded him £500 for “undoubtedly saving PC Madden’s life.”

The retired surgeon, originally from Iran, was reluctant to be hailed a hero.

He said: “I am very pleased that he (Pc Madden) survived. It’s very humbling that my intervention perhaps contributed to the outcome of possibly saving his life – a very brave young officer.”

He added: “It’s my duty, I guess. I’m sure anyone in my profession would do the same.”

When asked what was going through his mind as he used his bare hands to stem the flow of blood from Pc Madden’s neck, he said he thought of his own family.

He said: “He was the same age, virtually, as my son.”

Before Mr Tadjkarimi dealt with Pc Madden’s injuries, he attended to Police Community Support Officer Piotr Dolata, 27, who had also been stabbed by the knifeman.

“I saw a young officer, blood pouring from his face, with blood also spurting from his scalp.” Mr Tadjkarimi said.

He put pressure on the 6in (15.2cm) cut and bandaged it with the help of members of the public.

Mr Tadjkarimi came to the UK in 1973 after completing his medical training in Istanbul, Turkey.

His 21-year-old son, a medical student, is following in the footsteps of both parents, as his mother is also in the profession.

Mr Tadjkarimi joked: “I’ve tried to dissuade him and it didn’t work. It must be in the genes.”