How a mum’s first aid training saved the life of a woman who had collapsed in the street

A hero mum saved a stranger’s life after she saw her collapse in the street.

Debra Bushell was walking near Gorton train station when she saw a woman collapse

A group of people crowded around Janet Beatty, who lost consciousness and hit the concrete, and they put her into the recovery position.
But it was Debra – who had been on her way to the garage to pick up her car – who quickly realised the fallen woman had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Debra, a married mum from Abbey Hey who had previously undertaken first aid training, leapt into action and performed CPR.

Describing what happened, she said: “I walked around the corner to see a lady on the floor with a few people gathered around her, they asked if I could help and I thought yeah, I can do something as I’d had first aid training.

Janet and Debra with, from left, emergency services team Steve Dalton, John Carrie and Marc Berry

“Someone nearby said she was breathing and they could feel a pulse in her neck, but when I lifted her chin up, checked the airway and looked at her chest she wasn’t breathing.

“Someone was already on the phone to the ambulance service and I told them to say she wasn’t breathing.

“The person on the phone then asked if I knew how to do chest compressions and I said yes, so I just pushed her on to her back, lifted her chin up and started the compressions.

“It was strange as I wasn’t nervous at all, I just got into this little bubble and could hear all the kerfuffle in the background but I kept going until I heard the sirens and knew it wouldn’t be very long before help arrived.”

Watch: British Heart Foundation – Call, Push, Rescue

Video thumbnail, British Heart Foundation: How to perform CPR

Paramedics and the fire service came and took over, during the incident on November 18, and Janet was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary. She has gone on to make a full recovery.

Janet, from Timperley, said: “I just fell and really can’t remember anything about what happened. I hadn’t been ill and it’s strange as when people have a heart attack they get some sort of warning like chest or arm pains or perhaps start sweating.

“I had nothing and I had thought that my heart was alright. I am just incredibly lucky and thankful that Debra happened to be walking past at that moment.”

John Carrie, a senior paramedic from North West Ambulance Service who attended the scene, praised Debra and the fire service for their help and said it was a ‘complete team effort’.

He added: “Very often it’s the basics done well that works. Some first aiders will teach you how to do compressions and mouth to mouth, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to do that to a complete stranger.

“In this case Debra did chest compressions only. She kept going and doing them well – that was the most important and effective part. Just having that courage to have a go is enough as you can never make the situation worse.”

Chest compressions only is not far away from Canberra First Aid courses. We think that this is going to become a national regulation in the future. Please get yourself trained in first aid in the near future it is such an amazing skill to have. You will feel so dejected if you encounter a first aid incident and stand watching because you dont know what to do.

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