Pirate FM News 4 minute read

Cornish grandmother reunited with rescuers who saved her life

Cornish grandmother reunited with rescuers who saved her life

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:49pm 16th October 2019. (Updated at 5:55pm 16th October 2019)

A grandmother from Cornwall has been reunited with the people who saved her after she collapsed when walking the dog.

Caroline Halliday was out near Redruth with her husband last November when she stopped breathing.

Thankfully passer-by Evangeline, whose name means 'angel carrying the good news', came to the rescue by calling 999 and giving her life-saving CPR.

"It was a perfectly normal day, I'd been working in the morning, I went to play croquet in St Agnes the afternoon, I drove back, had a cup of coffee, we decided to walk the dog before tea, that was on a Tuesday, the next thing I knew it was Thursday.

"We were walking and my husband had been asking me what was for tea that night he never found out and I never got around to telling him. I collapsed and fell forward face frost onto the pavement. He thought I'd tripped at first then realised it was much more serious than that.

"I was really lucky that Evangeline and Mandy were driving past at that exact moment and saw me fall, Mandy phoned for the ambulance and Evan started doing CPR because she realised I wasn't actually breathing.

"I've heard the 999 call and it's amazing how calm and collected the call handler is, it's very weird listening to it knowing they're talking about me, I have no memory of it

"Then the ambulance turned up and the air ambulance. Without all of these people I would not be here today."

Caroline Halliday

Now South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is urging people throughout the region to learn how to save lives.  

Ambulance teams are running events across the South West for Restart a Heart Day to train as many people as possible to do lifesaving CPR.

The nationwide initiative is intended to improve the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. 

Paramedics and volunteer responders will lead the training sessions at prominent venues and various schools across the region.  

"If anybody sees something like this or anything, stop, help if you can, please try and learn CPR you never know when it might be needed.

"It goes to show how much defibrillators are needed in the community, public access defibs should be a really common sight."

Caroline Halliday

Key messages:

  • A heart attack is a serious medical emergency when in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot.
  • A sudden cardiac arrest is an urgent medical emergency when the heart stops beating, abruptly and without warning. If this happens, blood stops pumping round the body, and the brain is starved of oxygen. That causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing. A heart attack may cause a cardiac arrest.
  • Anyone can be affected by cardiac arrest at any time. Survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest remain stubbornly low in the UK, with fewer than one in ten people surviving.
  • Thousands of lives could be saved every year if CPR was taught more widely.
  • There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10%.
  • When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, performing immediate CPR and calling 999 may double their chance of survival.
  • Most episodes (around 80%) of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occur in the home, highlighting the potential benefit of family members trained in CPR.

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