Memories Came Flooding Back When Dementia Patient Gets to Relive his Career in a 1960s Ambulance and Uniform

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A 98-year-old dementia patient and veteran of World War II got to relive his career by riding in a retro ambulance and donning the old uniform—which opened the floodgates of precious memories.

Albert Gibbs, who worked on ambulances in London for a quarter-century, was visited by two paramedics in a 1960s ambulance, wearing familiar gray uniforms—just like the ones he used.

They were dispatched to a care home in Essex where Gibbs lives, so the great-grandfather could relive his days as a medic.

Paramedics Craig Henty and Terence Thomson drove up in an original 1967 Morris Wadhams ambulance, complete with period uniforms, that instantly took Gibbs right back to the old days when he was based in East London.

“I wore the same uniform and the same hat,” he exclaimed, as his memories sparked details.

“I recognize your badge. It’s from the north-east sector, where I used to work. I was stationed at Ilford, but sometimes also worked in Romford.”

He also recalled some important moments from his 25-year career, saying, “I delivered five babies and saved a person who fell under a train.

Elaine Dettmar, Gibbs’ daughter, said: “That was a huge part of my dad’s life – it was moving to help him relive it.

“As he talked and engaged, more memories were coming out.” (See short video below…)

Before visiting, Craig and Terence researched the archives from Albert’s time at the Service through its Historic Collection and traced thank you letters from patients that Albert had cared for and photos, too.

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